The attending physician for the U.S. Capitol claimed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's temporary freeze last week during a news conference was not due to stroke, movement disorder, or seizure, NPR reported. Curiously, he was immediately cleared for work despite visible indications that something went seriously wrong with the Kentucky Republican.
For the second time this summer, McConnell stopped midsentence and stared straight ahead, unresponsive. He eventually came to, but the question still remains why this worrying episode would be so easily dismissed by the doctor.
Still, Dr. Brian Monahan said that McConnell is being treated for a concussion he sustained earlier this year and that there will be no change to his course of treatment. The physician released a letter outlining the findings from his Aug. 30 examination of the 81-year-old.
Monahan said there was nothing wrong after conducting "several medical evaluations: brain MRI imaging, EEG study, and consultations with several neurologists for a comprehensive neurology assessment." The doctor was able to rule out a TIA or mini-stroke, Parkinson's disease, and seizure disorders.
Instead, Monahan believes "lightheadedness" was to blame for McConnell's sudden freeze. "Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration," the doctor said in his letter.
Although he has been cleared by his doctor to return to work, many believe that McConnell and others in government who are showing their age and declining health need to go. Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley pushed for cognitive screenings and term limits for elderly politicians, Fox News reported.
The former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador contends that "we need people at the top of their game" in office rather than these politicians who are well past their prime and experiencing serious issues. "Here you have Mitch McConnell, who's done great service to the country," Haley said Sunday.
"You have Dianne Feinstein, who had a great career. You've got Nancy Pelosi, who'd been there a long time – at what point do they get it's time to leave?" Haley asked.
"This is not just a Republican or Democrat problem; this is a congressional problem, and they've got to know when to leave. It's time to pass this down to a new generation of conservative leaders that want to take our country to a better place," she added.
"We need people at the top of their game. We have too many issues on the table that need to be dealt with," Haley pointed out.
"We can't continue to have these people who think they know better than the American people." Haley went on to advocate for competency tests as a requirement for office regardless of age.
"When a candidate files to run for office, incumbent or a newcomer, they have to give their financial disclosures. They should also give a notice from the doctor that tells about their mental capacity," Haley proposed.
"I think that we need that," she continued. "Our enemies are watching all of this, and every time they have an instance like that, America is less safe, because our enemies think we're out of control, and that's got to stop."
McConnell had two episodes that were bizarrely dismissed by his physician despite appearing to be caused by cognitive issues. It's hard to believe that, and it gives credence to Haley's assertion that these politicians need to be medically cleared before we ever get to this point.