McConnell vows to finish Senate term, retain leadership post

The Kentucky Senator isn’t standing aside after two public health lapses raised intrigue over his ability to do the job.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has pledged to remain as the Senate Republican leader and retain his seat after multiple public health lapses.

Despite recent health problems, McConnell stated that he intends to finish his seventh Senate term, which runs through 2026.


Driving the news: The National Review, a conservative magazine, recently published an editorial calling on McConnell to “step aside” due to his noticeable aging since a fall in March, during which he sustained a concussion and a broken rib.

  • McConnell responded to these calls by referring to a letter from Dr. Brian Monahan, the Capitol’s attending physician. The letter stated that McConnell shows “no evidence” of suffering from a seizure disorder, stroke, or Parkinson’s disease, based on brain MRI imaging, EEG study, and consultations with neurologists.
  • Discussing recent incidents when he froze while speaking to television cameras, McConnell mentioned that the medical report from Dr. Monahan should address any reasonable concerns, and he had nothing further to add.

What they’re saying: Senator Rand Paul, McConnell’s colleague from Kentucky who is also an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon, expressed doubts about Dr. Monahan’s medical findings. Paul argued that a normal EEG does not rule out seizures and that 25 percent of people who have had a brain injury may experience seizures afterward.

  • While some Republican senators have accepted Dr. Monahan’s conclusions without criticism or skepticism, others, including Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who is also a doctor, have supported McConnell’s leadership based on the physician’s statement that there was no evidence of any terrible medical issue.
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