McConnell ‘medically clear’ to do job, attending physician of Congress says

WASHINGTON — The attending physician to Congress said Thursday that he had cleared Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to continue with his planned schedule after evaluating an incident in which McConnell appeared to freeze up at an event in Kentucky.

McConnell, 81, remained silent for about 30 seconds during a news conference Wednesday, almost a month after he had a similar episode in Washington. In March, McConnell suffered a concussion and broke a rib after falling and hitting his head after a dinner event at a hotel.

Dr. Brian Monahan, the congressional physician, released a brief statement saying that he had consulted with McConnell and his neurology team and cleared the senator to continue with his schedule.

“Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration,” Monahan said.

The Senate is scheduled to convene next week after an August break.

McConnell’s office had said after the Wednesday incident that he was feeling “momentarily lightheaded.”

But the assurances have not eased concerns among Republican senators and have generated intense speculation about McConnell’s ability to remain as leader.


The famously guarded McConnell called several of his deputies in leadership after the Wednesday health episode. His health has visibly declined in recent months since the concussion in March.

McConnell is revealing little about his health condition, even to his closest colleagues.

That lack of information has colleagues guessing about not only his health but whether he will run for reelection in 2026 and who may succeed him as GOP leader. But the discussion has remained behind closed doors, for now, with most fellow Republican senators publicly supportive.