Mitch McConnell, the minority leader in the Senate, had another freezing episode earlier this week while holding a press conference in Kentucky.
Since this marks the second of these freezing instances in a relatively short amount of time, many people are raising concerns about the leading Republican senator’s health – including from his own party.
A video posted on Wednesday seemed to show that McConnell, who is 81 years old, wasn’t able to speak suddenly after he was posed a question about whether he would run for re-election in 2026.
Some of his aides exchanged words with him, and then McConnell can be heard saying, “I’m OK.” He was then led away by his aides from the podium.
Following the episode, some of his aides in Washington said that McConnell felt lightheaded momentarily, but that he feels fine now. They added that the senator would consult with a physician before he attended another event.
Those comments didn’t do much to calm the nerves of people in Washington who have been raising serious questions about the health of McConnell and many of the other rapidly aging lawmakers in Washington.
McConnell is the longest-serving member in the Senate. His age alone is a concern for some, but the fact that he’s now had freezing episodes in as many months emphasizes those concerns even more.
The senator’s aides downplayed questions that were posed of him after he froze in late July about whether he’d step down from the Senate or serve out the remainder of his current term. They said that his first freezing incident was caused by dehydration.
After a second freezing episode in a short period of time, though, many people in Washington are questioning whether he’s actually OK and can do his job.
A few months ago, McConnell suffered a broken rib and concussion after he fell and hit his head following a dinner event. He was sidelined for almost six weeks following that incident.
In recent months, multiple media outlets have reported that McConnell has had to be in a wheelchair when he’s traveling in airports after flights to and from Kentucky and Washington, D.C. He’s also seemingly had more difficulty finishing his sentences and being audible at press conferences.
Following Wednesday’s freezing incident, Republican Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida – a staunch McConnell critic – tweeted, “Yikes.”
It isn’t just McConnell who’s been the subject of questions over his age and health. Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein from California has been the subject of calls for her resignation after she’s missed multiple months this year due to health concerns.
Feinstein, who is in her 90s, already has announced that she’ll be retiring at the end of her current term. But, she’s thus far shrugged off calls for her to resign, saying she would remain in Congress to fulfill her term.
Even Joe Biden is the oldest person to have ever served as president. He’s faced plenty of questions regarding whether he is in good enough health to serve another term in the White House.