Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who has maintained a private cover as he battles brain cancer, missed the funeral of his sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver on Friday, according to the Boston Globe.
Kennedy, 77, attended a private Mass earlier this week, but a spokesman told the Globe that the Senator did not attend the wake and also did not plan to go to the private funeral Friday at St. Xavier Church in Hyannis.
Kennedy also missed a White House ceremony on Wednesday, in which he was awarded a Presidential Medal of Honor. His daughter, Kara, accepted the award on his behalf.
He has also missed the confirmation vote of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor earlier this month, and has been absent from the Senate health care debate. Kennedy is the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. His longtime friend Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) has been overseeing that panel’s work on health care in his absence.
In an interview with MSNBC Friday, Rep. Ed. Markey (D-Mass.) predicted that Kennedy would emerge later this year when a health care reform bill is signed by President Barack Obama.
“I think Teddy will be there for that signing,— Markey said.
Kennedy allies say the second-longest-serving Democrat has been kept apprised of the health care debate; he recently penned a lengthy article in Newsweek in which he declared overhauling the health system “the cause of my life.—
Kennedy was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in May 2008.