This is what happens when politicians don’t retire when they should.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, according to NBC News sources, fell 12 days prior to the terrifying freezing episode that made headlines Wednesday.
During the weekly Senate Republican Agenda press conference on Wednesday afternoon, McConnell was speaking to reporters when he abruptly froze. He remained at the podium for more than 30 seconds without speaking, and his colleagues ultimately had to guide him away.
Later that day, he made jokes about receiving a call from Joe Biden with a number of congressional reporters. He reappeared shortly afterward to take queries. “The president called to check on me,” McConnell informed the media, “I told him I got sandbagged.”
After suffering a stroke on camera Mitch McConnell tries to laugh it off with a joke hastily written by his staff then proceeds to immediately freeze up again and stare off into the middle distance.
McConnell is unwell.
He is a cancer on the GOP.
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) July 27, 2023
Many people have theorized that the incident is connected to a wound McConnell sustained in March of this year.
However, many sources tell NBC’s Garrett Haake and Sahil Kapur that McConnell had a far more recent fall on July 14 while getting off an aircraft at Reagan National Airport:
McConnell, 81, was not seriously hurt, and was seen at the Capitol later that day, where he interacted with at least one reporter.
The July 14 fall, which has not been previously reported, occurred after the flight out of Washington was canceled while everyone was on board. McConnell, R-Ky., who was a passenger on the plane, had a “face plant,” someone who was on the plane at the time but did not witness the fall told NBC News. That passenger also said they spoke to another passenger who helped tend to McConnell after the fall.
The Senate’s top Republican has also recently been using a wheelchair as a precautionary measure when navigating crowded airports, according to a source familiar with his practices.
The incident happened a several months after Leader McConnell concussed himself after falling at a hotel in Washington.
“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell remained in the hospital Thursday and was being treated for a concussion following a fall at a Washington, D.C., hotel Wednesday night,” ABC News reported back in March of this year.
“Leader McConnell tripped at a dinner event Wednesday evening and has been admitted to the hospital and is being treated for a concussion. He is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days of observation and treatment. The Leader is grateful to the medical professionals for their care and to his colleagues for their warm wishes,” McConnell’s communications director David Popp told ABC News Thursday afternoon.
McConnell, who’s 81, has walked with a limp after overcoming polio at a young age and suffered a fall in early August 2019, fracturing his shoulder.
He has served as Senate Republican leader since 2007 and became the longest-serving party leader in the history of the Senate earlier this year.
McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, and President Trump have a troubled past together. While the two developed a professional connection while Trump was in the White House, Trump has routinely attacked McConnell ever since he left.
In February 2021, after McConnell reprimanded him over the January 6 Capitol disturbance, Trump proclaimed, “Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again.”
After McConnell fall and concussion, other news came out regarding health concerns:
“The Republican bigshot, 81, banged his brain in a terrible March 9 tumble at Washington D.C.’s Waldorf Astoria hotel — nearly four years after another serious fall forced him to have shoulder surgery,” RadarOnline reported.
After the recent fall, McConnell was admitted to the hospital where he spent six days receiving treatment. Following his discharge, he was transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation facility to receive care for a brain injury. One medical expert told the outlet that can cause “loss of consciousness, convulsions, seizures, loss of coordination, slurred speech, agitation, and confusion.”
Sources reportedly told the outlet that McConnell has experienced other medical emergencies in the past, to go along with his childhood encounter with polio. That includes a triple bypass operation in 2003.
In a public appearance three years ago, he displayed bruised and bandaged hands but declined to provide an explanation for his injury, the outlet noted further.
“McConnell’s falls could be the result of a coordination problem that signifies the presence of a more serious progressive cognitive condition,” one expert, Dr. Gabe Mirkin — who has not treated McConnell — told RadarOnline.
McConnell was the subject of Tucker Carlson on a recent segment when Carlson asked: “Where is Mitch McConnell?”
“Where’s Mitch McConnell?”: Tucker Unloads on RINO Weakness in Face of Political Persecution [WATCH] https://t.co/uMYuP2jYxP
— The American Tribune (@TAmTrib) March 23, 2023
After his fall in March McConnell released a statement which read “I want to sincerely thank everyone for all the kind wishes. I’m happy to say I finished inpatient physical therapy earlier today and I’m glad to be home.”
“I’m going to follow the advice of my physical therapists and spend the next few days working for Kentuckians and the Republican Conference from home. I’m in frequent touch with my Senate colleagues and my staff. I look forward to returning in person to the Senate soon.”
Time to hang it up, Mitch.