Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is hearing more calls to retire after experiencing a second freeze-up during a press conference last week in his home state of Kentucky.
McConnell, 81, appeared unresponsive for about 30 seconds after being asked about a run for reelection in 2026 while speaking to the press in Covington, Kentucky, The Hill reported.
It was the second time McConnell paused for a period while answering questions from the media, following a similar incident in Washington, D.C., in July.
Congress Attending Physician Dr. Brian Monahan penned a letter clearing McConnell to continue his work in the Senate when it reconvenes this month.
“I have consulted with Leader McConnell and conferred with his neurology team,” the New York Times reported Dr. Monahan saying in a brief statement that was made public by Mr. McConnell’s office last week. “After evaluating yesterday’s incident, I have informed Leader McConnell that he is medically clear to continue with his schedule as planned.”
Despite the doctor’s assertion that McConnell is well enough to serve in the Senate, a growing chorus is wanting him to step down.
The Times reported that one of those calls came from the editorial board of the conservative publication, National Review.
“The time has come for the Kentucky senator, after his long, impressive run, to make the decision to step aside from leadership,” the editors of the magazine wrote following last week’s incident.
The issues of age and cognizance are gaining more attention after incidents with 90-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and President Joe Biden, 80.
“Severe aging health issues and/or mental health incompetence in our nation’s leaders must be addressed,” The Hill reported Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene posting on X last week. “Biden, McConnell, Feinstein, and [Pennsylvania Democrat Sen. John] Fetterman are examples of people who are not fit for office and it’s time to be serious about it.”
McConnell has been recovering from a concussion he suffered during a fall at a dinner in Washington, D.C., last year, Feinstein has missed several months’ work while recovering from a case of shingles, and Fetterman was out of the Senate for several weeks after checking himself into a hospital for depression while recovering from a stroke he suffered prior to his 2022 primary in Pennsylvania.
“These politicians’ staff and family members should be ashamed of themselves by enabling and allowing their loved ones to remain in office all to hold power,” Greene said. “We are talking about our country’s national security and it’s all at stake! 25th amendment and other measures need to be on the table.”
Charles Kim ✉
Charles Kim, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in reporting on news and politics.
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