Capitol Physician Rules out Stroke, Seizures for Ailing McConnell, but Does the Cause Really Matter?

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Clearly, something is wrong with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) 

Also clearly, something is wrong with President Joe Biden. Of additional concern is it doesn't appear that either one of these guys is going to miraculously "get better" and return to their former selves — and they're not the Lone Rangers in national politics about whom similar concerns exist. 


Following McConnell's second incident last Wednesday, roughly two months after he first appeared to freeze while speaking, standing motionless at his lectern, the Minority Leader's office on Tuesday released a letter from Brian Monahan, the Capitol’s attending physician, stating that McConnell doesn't suffer from a seizure disorder and that he hasn't suffered a stroke.

In addition, Monahan said the 81-year-old senator didn't suffer a TIA ("mini-stroke") or exhibit a movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease.

My examination of you following your August 30, 2023, brief episode included several medical evaluations: brain MRI imaging, EEG study, and consultations with several neurologists for a comprehensive neurology assessment. There is no evidence that you have a seizure disorder or that you experienced a stroke, TIA, or movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease. 

Monahan's bottom-line assessment of McConnell's health is newsworthy: 

There are no changes recommended in treatment protocols as you continue recovery from your March 2023 fall.

Let's summarize:

As I said at the top, something is seriously wrong with Mitch McConnell. The Capitol attending physician not only found zero causes for the Minority Leader's recent medical incidents; he also recommended zero changes to McConnell's treatment protocols. I'm not a doctor, but this doesn't strike me as responsible medical care.

This, of course, brings us to Biden, whose mental lapses and mumbling moments of mush are legendary. Yet, the 46th president challenges the media with "Watch me" and other such nonsense while he falls off bicycles, falls up stairways, and cluelessly wanders off stage while nonsensically babbling after getting lost on his teleprompter. 


Incidentally, as we reported in late July — totally without shock, of course — the likes of CNN and MSNBC continue to anguish over McConnell's health while at the same time either ignoring Biden's declining state or flat-out defending (lying about) it. 

So Here's the Salient Question

The paramount question applies to both McConnell and Biden: What difference does it make in terms of what's wrong with either guy?

Letters from doctors aside, the respective supporters of Mitch McConnell and Joe Biden can put all the lipstick on these two guys they want, but the bottom line is neither one of them appears to be physically or mentally capable of remaining in office, much less running for reelection. 

Yet, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) flew wingman for McConnell on Sunday in reference to the Minority Leader's second health incident.

He was in good shape. He was direct. He said, you know, I had that concussion and he said, they warned me that I would be lightheaded in the future and that I’ve got to be aware of it. He said it happened twice, he said, it just so happens I’m doing it in front of reporters. But he felt good yesterday.

Dr. Monahan … who is also my physician there at the Senate — he’s sharp. He says it exactly the way that it is. And if he says, you know, Mitch is ready to go, then Mitch is ready to go. 

Similarly, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre continues to defend Biden's declining state. 


The Bottom Line

In a perfect world, the question of an officeholder's physical and/or mental condition to serve should be determined by voters. That said, voters deserve to know the truth about political figures they support — or oppose.

Unfortunately, we've reached a point in American politics where truth, facts, and objectivity often carry less weight with voters than their sometimes-blind support for this candidate or that one. 

Who or what's to blame? Pick 'em: biased reporting, social media nonsense, predisposed political position, or lack of honesty and objectivity. Whatever the case may be, health — physical and mental — matters.

The 2024 general election also matters. Let's not screw it up.


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