Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), 81, issued a statement Saturday announcing he had been discharged from a stint in rehab for a concussion and broken rib after a fall earlier this month. McConnell was hospitalized after he fell at a fundraising dinner held at the former Trump hotel in Washington, D.C. on March 8 and went to rehab on March 13. McConnell said he would work from home but gave no timeline as to when he would return to the Senate.
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McConnell’s absence leaves the Republicans at 48 votes in the closely divided chamber as proxy voting is not allowed in the Senate. The Democrats are down two senators, freshman John Fetterman (PA), 53, out for “depression” and five-term Dianne Feinstein (CA), 89, out with shingles, leaving them at 49 votes.
March 25, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued the following statement this afternoon:
“I want to sincerely thank everyone for all the kind wishes. I’m happy to say I finished inpatient physical therapy earlier today and I’m glad to be home.
“I’m going to follow the advice of my physical therapists and spend the next few days working for Kentuckians and the Republican Conference from home. I’m in frequent touch with my Senate colleagues and my staff. I look forward to returning in person to the Senate soon.”
McConnell has not been seen or directly heard from by the public since he fell on March 8. No photos or video have been released. It was only last week that a few Republican senators said they had spoken by phone or texted with him.
McConnell’s staff did not inform the public about the seriousness of McConnell’s injuries, just giving the minimum on his condition: He fell, he had a concussion, he was in the hospital, he had a broken rob, he went to rehab, he went home.
McConnell ally Josh Holmes spread misinformation to reporters in the days after McConnell was hospitalized, saying he was walking around the hospital and chatting up the staff (NBC News excerpt):
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is “doing well” and “eager” to leave the hospital and return to work, his longtime political adviser Josh Holmes told NBC News on Friday.
Holmes said he’s “been there the last two days” with the Kentucky Republican, and added that the senator has been walking around and peppering staff with questions.
McConnell has a limp from childhood polio that makes him prone to falls. He injured his shoulder in a 2019 fall. In 2020 his face and hands were deeply bruised in an unexplained incident. McConnell had heart bypass surgery in 2003.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says "no concerns" after reporters asked about what appeared to be bruises and bandages on his hands in recent days https://t.co/s8ToILjDkQ pic.twitter.com/bDFU9nRJla
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 23, 2020
McConnell is serving his seventh term as senator. He has been Republican leader since 2007.