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Rand Paul Doubts Capitol Doctor Diagnosis Report Of Mitch McConnell After Freeze-Up


Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, raised doubt about the recommendations in the letter from the attending physician at the Capitol about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell following his apparent coma last week.

The Capitol’s attending physician, Dr. Brian Monahan, revealed in a letter on Tuesday that he had checked McConnell after his most recent episode in front of the media last week at a function in Covington, Kentucky. There is “no evidence,” according to Monahan, that McConnell has a seizure disorder, a stroke, a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or a movement issue like Parkinson’s disease.

In a statement released last week, Monahan also claimed that he had “consulted” with McConnell, 81, and “conferred” with the Kentucky Republican’s neurology group, concluding that “he is medically clear to continue with his schedule as planned.” The medical professional continued, “Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration.”

Paul, an eye doctor by training, told reporters on Tuesday that it’s preferable for senators to be “forthcoming about what’s going on with their health problems” and he questioned the Capitol physician’s justification for McConnell’s breakdown last week.

“Obviously not being in the position — not seeing the x-rays, not seeing the radiology — I can really only comment I guess on what they have released,” Paul told reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday. “And they have the Senate doctor saying he has a normal EEG,” a reference to an electroencephalogram.

He added: “The problem with saying someone has a normal EEG, and saying they’re not having seizures, is that people who have short seizures, well over 80% of them have normal EEGs. If you’re having longer seizures, you’re more likely, but even then only about half of them have abnormal EEGs. An EEG that’s done at one time on an office visit often will miss things. Even a 24-hour EEG might miss things.”

Paul declared that he did not believe the Capitol physician offered “a valid medical diagnosis.”

Everyone has seen the videos, he claimed. “To say that is dehydration is not a legitimate medical diagnosis.”

Paul said he was unable to comment on whether or not McConnell’s workload is a concern due to his health issues: “I can’t really say anything on that. I can only tell that it doesn’t appear to be dehydration.

Paul also avoided explicitly responding to the question of whether he believes McConnell can successfully lead the conference, but he did say that he believes McConnell has “been up to the task.”

“And so this isn’t a criticism of him or anything — it’s a criticism of the way it’s being handled publicly, by giving a diagnosis that everybody thinks is a lot less than what it actually is,” Paul said. “So then people automatically think, ‘Wow, it’s a lot worse than it actually is.’ But it could be something very treatable. Seizures are treated. Many people in high-functioning jobs have seizures. Many seizures after trauma go away, but there’s a lot of things I don’t know.”

In remarks to NBC News on Wednesday, Paul doubled down on his statements: “If you’re giving advice on, you know, what someone’s potential diagnosis is, really it ought to be based on the facts. And what I can tell you is that having vacant spells of 30 seconds or more where you’re unresponsive, is not a sign or a symptom of dehydration.”

In addition, Paul emphasized that he is “not questioning” McConnell’s eligibility for the Senate but rather his diagnosis.

After he froze last week at an event in Kentucky and appeared unable to talk for almost 30 seconds after a reporter asked him if he wanted to run for re-election in 2026, concerns about McConnell’s health and capacity to lead Senate Republicans rose. It was his second apparent public meltdown in the past two months.

McConnell similarly appeared to freeze for over 20 seconds in front of the television cameras, during a leadership press conference in late July.

The incident occurred a few weeks after the Senate Minority Leader, a polio survivor who has had trouble traversing obstacles and stairways, tripped and fell on July 14 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, according to NBC News. The incident did not cause him any significant injuries.

McConnell reportedly suffered a tumble and concussion in March, which kept him out for close to six weeks, before the apparent freeze-ups.

Several other Republican colleagues extended their support for McConnell.

“He’s still on his game mentally,” said Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., told reporters Tuesday.

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