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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Appears To Freeze While Speaking With Reporters In Kentucky

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On Wednesday, after giving a speech in Covington, Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to pause for nearly 30 seconds as he spoke with reporters.

The incident is comparable to one McConnell had at the US Capitol late last month, and it is expected to raise more concerns about the 81-year-old’s suitability to serve as the leader of the Senate Republican caucus.

The incident on Wednesday started when a reporter inquired about the Republican leader’s intentions for 2026. McConnell had to urge him to repeat the question multiple times before he finally stopped, shut his lips, and looked straight ahead after chuckling briefly.

Someone at his side then asked him, “Did you hear the question, senator, running for reelection in 2026?” McConnell did not respond.

“I’m sorry you all, we’re gonna need a minute,” the aide told reporters. A member of the senator’s detail spoke quietly to him for a moment, and McConnell was able to whisper an answer to him.

After saying “OK” and turning back to the media, McConnell’s assistant enquired as to whether anyone had further questions and invited the media to “speak up.”

According to a McConnell spokesperson who talked to CNN, the Kentucky Republican “felt momentarily lightheaded and paused during his press conference today.” “While he feels fine, as a prudential measure, the leader will be consulting a physician prior to his next event,” a McConnell aide continued.

He then went to a fundraiser for Rep. Jim Banks, an Indiana senatorial candidate; this shows that he continued with his program despite Wednesday’s ongoing concerns about his health.

Since 2007, McConnell has served as the Senate Republican caucus leader. Throughout the year, concerns have been raised regarding his health. After falling at a hotel in Washington in March, he received medical attention for a concussion and a cracked rib before making a brief return to the Senate.

McConnell froze for 30 seconds in the middle of a news conference on Capitol Hill in late July. Republicans later claimed that the Kentucky Republican was dehydrated, however, his office first claimed that he was “lightheaded” at the time. After the event, McConnell assured reporters that he was “fine.”

Following the event, McConnell and his top deputy, John Thune, the Republican whip in the Senate, talked.

“The leader sounded like his usual self and was in good spirits,” Thune spokesman Ryan Wrasse said.

Additionally, President Joe Biden stated to reporters on Wednesday that he intends to make an effort to “get in touch” with McConnell.

“Mitch is a friend, as you know – not a joke, I know people don’t believe that’s the case. We have disagreements politically but he’s a good friend and so I’m going to try and get in touch with him later this afternoon. I don’t know enough to know,” Biden told reporters following remarks on the federal response to Hurricane Idalia and the wildfires in Maui.

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