It was a bad moment for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell when, during a Wednesday press conference, the 81-year-old Senatore froze for a long moment and looked disoriented before being steadied by his colleagues, who promptly ended the press conference.
Sen. McConnell said he was fine later, but it was a dramatic enough moment, one which many speculated was health-related, that even CSPAN called it out on Twitter, saying, “McConnell appears to have a health issue while speaking during a press conference in the U.S. Capitol. About 12 minutes later, the Minority Leader returned to the press conference and, when asked about what happened, said, ‘I’m fine.’”
Watch it here:
Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to have a health issue while speaking during a press conference in the U.S. Capitol. About 12 minutes later, the Minority Leader returned to the press conference and, when asked about what happened, said, "I'm fine." pic.twitter.com/EU7zDzGT0m
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 26, 2023
Then, when Sen. McConnell came back to say that he was “fine,” reporters were concerned. One asked, “do you have anybody in mind to replace you?” Sen. McConnell didn’t give a real answer, instead laughing and shaking his head while walking away from the press conference.
Reporter: Do you anybody in mind to replace you?
McConnell: *laughs* pic.twitter.com/bZx9ugG3IT
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 26, 2023
But while McConnell was apparently unconcerned with his health despite the incident, or at least not willing to hand over the reins of power as a result of it, many commenters on Twitter were concerned and called for him to step down, or at least answer questions about his health.
One commenter on the above video, for instance, said, “You’re laughing off the fact you had a mini stroke at the podium. Senator, I don’t know any other way to tell you this, but it is most definitely time for you to consider retirement. Your health is your #1 priority, and you have to take care of yourself.”
Another called out those that laughed at the question, seemingly staying detached from the question of what is best for the American people and putting power first: “Those that laughed alongside him should be ashamed. Putting political power ahead of his health.”
Outside of the comments space in the tweet about his replacement, numerous other accounts called on Sen. McConnell to step down because of his health, putting the country ahead of his personal power and sense of importance.
DC Draino, for instance, said (punctuation added for ease of reading), “BREAKING: Mitch McConnell has cognitive malfunction at podium. Has to be escorted away by fellow Senators. This man has clear cognitive impairments after sustaining serious head trauma from his fall a few months ago. It is clear that he should resign.”
Similarly, Federalist founder Sean Davis said, “Why is our country being led by unhealthy, obviously brain-damaged people like Biden, McConnell, and Fetterman? In a country of 330 million, this is our leadership class? What an embarrassment.”
Joining them was Benny Johnson, who said, “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.’”
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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