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Doctor says McConnell did not suffer stroke during freezing episode

A congressional doctor said there was no evidence McConnell had a stroke or seizure after freezing in front of reporters last week.
Doctor says McConnell did not suffer stroke during freezing episode
Posted at 10:33 AM, Sep 05, 2023

After Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was seen freezing during a press conference for the second time in recent months, the attending physician of Congress released an update on his health. 

In a letter released by McConnell's office from Dr. Brian Monahan, the physician said there is no evidence that McConnell suffered a stroke, seizure disorder, TIA or movement disorder. Monahan said he came to this conclusion after using brain MRI imaging, an EEG study and consultations with several neurologists. 

Monahan referenced a fall McConnell had earlier this year, where he suffered an apparent concussion. 

"There are no changes recommended in treatment protocols as you continue recovery from your March 2023 fall," Monahan wrote. 

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The letter did not rule out other potential causes for McConnell's freezing. 

McConnell stood speechless for 30 seconds while taking questions from reporters. An aide then came to McConnell's side and told reporters that they were going to need a minute. 

McConnell seemingly acknowledged that he was OK to continue with the questions, but the aide asked reporters to "speak up." A spokesperson later told Scripps News that the Senate minority leader had felt "momentarily lightheaded."

This is the second time in about a month that McConnell has frozen up on camera. In July, he was speaking with reporters in Washington when he abruptly paused for about 20 seconds before he was escorted away from the cameras. He would later return to the podium to tell reporters that he was fine.

McConnell was cleared to return to work last week. 

The Senate is returning from summer recess on Tuesday. 

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