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McConnell cleared to continue work by Senate physician

Minority leader froze again Wednesday answering reporters’ questions

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell takes questions after taking a break from a news conference because of light-headedness on July 26.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell takes questions after taking a break from a news conference because of light-headedness on July 26. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was cleared by the Capitol’s attending physician to return to his normal schedule, a note shared by McConnell’s office Thursday shows.

“After evaluating yesterday’s incident, I have informed Leader McConnell that he is medically clear to continue with his schedule as planned,” Attending Physician Brian Monahan wrote. “Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration.” 

Monahan said he consulted with both McConnell and his neurology team. 

McConnell appeared to briefly freeze while answering reporters’ questions in Kentucky on Wednesday when asked about running for reelection in 2026. His office said afterward that he “felt momentarily lightheaded and paused.” The episode was reminiscent of when McConnell needed to step away while answering questions during a news conference on Capitol Hill last month.

The Kentucky Republican was away from the Capitol this spring while recovering from a fall at a Washington hotel during a political event that led to a concussion and a fractured rib. 

Rep. Jim Banks, an Indiana Republican who is running for Senate, said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that he “enjoyed a wide-ranging discussion” with McConnell about the future of the country on Wednesday evening. 

During remarks Thursday at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington, President Joe Biden said he spoke with McConnell earlier in the day and that he seemed to be doing well.

“I spoke to Mitch. He’s a friend, and I spoke to him today,” Biden said. “You know, he was his old self on the telephone, and having a little understanding of dealing with neurosurgeons … it’s not at all unusual to have a response that sometimes happens to Mitch when you’ve had a severe concussion. It’s part of the recovery, and so I’m confident he’ll be back to his old self.”

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.

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