McConnell does not have seizure disorder, did not suffer stroke, says Capitol physician

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Brian Monahan, the Capitol’s attending physician, said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) does not have a seizure disorder and did not suffer a stroke after a medical episode last week.

McConnell’s office released a letter Tuesday from Monahan to the GOP leader outlining the results of an exam.

McConnell froze for the second time in recent months last week when a reporter in Covington, Ky., asked him about his political plans when his term is up in 2026, leading to concern about this health. A spokesperson for the GOP leader said that the 30-second freeze came after he became “lightheaded.” 

“My examination of you following your August 30, 2023 brief episode included several medical evaluations: brain MRI imaging, EEG study and consultations with several neurologists for a comprehensive neurology assessment,” Monahan said. “There is no evidence that you have a seizure disorder or that you experienced a stroke, TIA or movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease.” 

“There are no changes recommended in treatment protocols as you continue recovery from your March 2023 fall,” Monahan added.

A number of top Senate Republicans spoke with McConnell following the incident, with many in recent days continuing to signal strong support for the longest serving leader in the history of the upper chamber.

“He was in good shape. He was direct. He said, you know, I had that concussion and he said, they warned me that I would be lightheaded in the future and that I’ve got to be aware of it. He said, it happened twice, he said, it just so happens I’m doing it in front of reporters. But he felt good yesterday,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said during a Sunday show appearance.

“Dr. Monahan … who is also my physician there at the Senate — he’s sharp. He says it exactly the way that it is. And if he says, you know, Mitch is ready to go, then Mitch is ready to go,” Rounds continued. “But Mitch will come back in front of us, and he’ll discuss it with the entire team. He’s been busy. He’s been working around his own state, but he’s also been doing the fundraising that is required of a leader, and I think that’s been a big job for him as well during this break.”

The first incident took place July 26, shortly before lawmakers broke for the August recess. 

McConnell was hospitalized in March after he fell during a dinner and suffered a concussion and a fractured rib. He returned to the Capitol more than a month later. NBC News also reported that the Kentucky Republican fell in July while deplaning at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va.

McConnell and the rest of the Senate returns to Washington for work this afternoon. 

Updated at 11:49 a.m. ET

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