89-year-old Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) was admitted to a San Francisco hospital with complications from shingles, her office shared Thursday evening. It later said she expected to make a full recovery.
“I was diagnosed over the February recess with a case of shingles. I have been hospitalized and am receiving treatment in San Francisco,” a statement read. “I hope to return to the Senate later this month.”
Feinstein is the second Democrat Senator in as many weeks to be hospitalized for serious health concerns. The American Tribune recently reported that Pennsylvania’s freshman Senator John Fetterman also admitted himself for reasons stated to be related to his mental health. Fetterman suffered a stroke last year and has been recognizably ailing ever since.
“Last night, Senator John Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to receive treatment for clinical depression. While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks,” his office said in response to his admission
“On Monday, John was evaluated by Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress,” the statement continued.
“Yesterday, Dr. Monahan recommended inpatient care at Walter Reed. John agreed, and he is receiving treatment on a voluntary basis. After examining John, the doctors at Walter Reed told us that John is getting the care he needs, and will soon be back to himself,” the statement concluded.
For some time now, even the corporate media has been sounding the alarm over Feinstein’s ability to perform her duties as a sitting U.S. Senator. Journalists have shared their own concerns, as well as reported on anonymous comments from her own colleagues, that all is not well with the octogenarian. They cited concerns of cognitive decline.
NPR interviewed her last summer, and the takeaway from that was that a 30-minute phone call left them worried she didn’t quite grasp the severity of the issues facing the country, saying:
Journalist Rebecca Traister set out to write a profile of the oldest sitting U.S. senator, Dianne Feinstein of California, who turns 89 on June 22. And while Traister’s feature piece does center on Feinstein’s long and storied career, it also evokes questions about the senator’s cognitive health.
NPR’s All Things Considered spoke with Traister, a writer for The Cut, about a worrying call she had with Feinstein two days after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
“It felt to me to be deeply disconnected from the very urgent and chilling realities that we are very much in the midst of,” Traister said on All Things Considered.
A more evocative report came out of the San Francisco Chronicle last year as well, citing four U.S. Senators and three former staffers who suggested she was no longer fit to hold her office. The Chronicle wrote:
Not wanting to be identified, they claim she is showing clear signs of cognitive decline, including forgetting who she is meeting with and repeating the same information multiple times throughout a conversation.
Senator Feinstein’s hospitalization is yet the latest reminder that all is not well for the California Democrat. Less than a month ago, the Senate’s oldest member announced she would not be seeking re-election.
Last month, the Senate’s longest-tenured woman announced she would not seek re-election. “I am announcing today I will not run for re-election in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends,” Feinstein said in a statement.
Already, Representatives Adamn Schiff and Katie Porter, among others, have announced their intentions to seek her vacant seat.
Featured image: Benjamin Dunn, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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