Senator Mitch McConnell froze for over 20 seconds while giving a press briefing at the US Capitol on Wednesday.
While speaking on the status of the annual NDAA bill, McConnell completely froze which caused Sen. Joni Erst to ask the Senator “Are you good, Mitch?”
Senator John Barrasso, an actual doctor, proceeded to approach McConnell and told him to return to his office.
Here’s the moment it happened:
After suffering a stroke on camera Mitch McConnell tries to laugh it off with a joke hastily written by his staff then proceeds to immediately freeze up again and stare off into the middle distance.
McConnell is unwell.
He is a cancer on the GOP.
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) July 27, 2023
Political commentator Benny Johnson reached out to a neurosurgeon and asked their opinion on what caused McConnell to freeze and they replied “You can see it in the eyes. Dead eyes. Forgets where he is and who he is. Cognitive breakdown. Common in stroke patients.”
Neurosurgeon I know just texted me in response to the McConnell video saying it’s obvious that McConnell just suffered from an acute stroke.
“You can see it in the eyes. Dead eyes. Forgets where he is and who he is. Cognitive breakdown. Common in stroke patients”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) July 26, 2023
Here’s what The Hill reported:
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) froze for almost 20 seconds while delivering his opening statement at a leadership press conference Wednesday afternoon, prompting murmurs of concern among his colleagues and the assembled press corps.
McConnell told reporters the Senate was on a path to complete work on the annual defense authorization bill and praised what he called “good bipartisan cooperation” before freezing midsentence and staring straight ahead without uttering another word.
The awkward and potentially scary moment prompted a couple members of his leadership team to reach out to see if he was OK.
“Are you good, Mitch?” asked Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairwoman Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), putting her hand on the back of his arm.
“Are you okay, Mitch?” asked Senate Republican Conference Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), a doctor, who put his hand on McConnell’s right forearm. “Anything else you want to say?
“Let’s go back to your office,” said Barrasso. “Do you want to say anything else to the press? Let’s go back.”
Others are claiming Mitch had a seizure:
JUST IN: Mitch McConnell, who has been in office for nearly 4 decades, responds after he appeared to have a seizure during a press conference.
“The president called to check on me. I told him I got sandbagged,” he said as he ignored questions from reporters.
The only… pic.twitter.com/edjkxEAJVS
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) July 26, 2023
Cardiologist Johnathan Reiner just said that it appears Mitch McConnell had a “post concussion seizure.” To be clear, seizures don’t have to be gran mals. This is NOT normal and for McConnell to go back out to the cameras, make a joke…and not go back to the hospital …hmm. pic.twitter.com/fmOnFpBI39
— Elucidated (@Elucidated2) July 26, 2023
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell froze during his opening remarks at the weekly Senate Republican press conference on Wednesday, seemingly unable to speak. Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, who is also a physician, approached him and spoke quietly with him, and the two walked away from the podium.
The top Senate Republican eventually returned to handle questions, but not before arousing the concern of his colleagues. A McConnell aide later said he “felt lightheaded and stepped away for a moment.”
McConnell, 81, was discussing the Senate’s progress on the National Defense Authorization Act when he ceased speaking. Barrasso asked him, “You OK, Mitch?” He asked if the Republican leader wanted to return to his office and helped McConnell away from the podium. Sen. John Thune, the second-highest ranking Republican in the Senate, took over the press conference.