McConnell 'clear to work,' though health questions linger
A second health scare during a press conference has Sen. Mitch McConnell’s office seeking to reassure his colleagues and constituents that the 81-year-old is up to the job. The attending physician at the U.S. Capitol has said the senator is “medically clear” to continue work.
Capitol physician Brian Monahan said he has consulted with McConnell and conferred with the GOP leader’s neurology team and declared that he is cleared to continue with his current schedule.
Twice now, McConnell has frozen up during questions at press conferences, appearing unable to speak, but later telling the press he’s fine and his office reporting "lightheadedness" as the culprit. The incidents come after a fall in March put the long-serving leader in the hospital. Monahan said lightheadedness is common in concussion recovery.
That hasn’t stopped some backroom chatter among at least a handful of Republicans about convening a conference meeting to discuss their party’s leadership, according to CNN. Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene declared McConnell “unfit for office” on social media.
Were McConnell to give up his seat before the 2026 election, the governor would pick his replacement from a list of three options provided by the Republican Party. Asked about the situation at his Thursday press briefing, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear was cautious about wading into the matter.
"I respect Sen. McConnell and his health enough, first of all, to not sensationalize it, and second, there is no vacancy," the governor said. "He has said he's going to serve out his term and I fully believe him."
President Biden, who has spoken with McConnell, says he is not concerned about the minority leader’s ability to serve.