Mitch McConnell freezes, struggles to speak in second incident this summer

Mitch McConnell freezes, struggles to speak in second incident this summer

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to the media following the weekly policy luncheons at the U.S. Capitol on June 21, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Wednesday appeared briefly unable to respond to reporters’ questions at a press event, marking the second time in weeks that the Republican leader has abruptly stopped speaking and required help from people around him.

McConnell, 81, initially seemed to struggle to hear when asked at an event in Covington, Kentucky, about his views on running for reelection.

But the senator then froze at the lectern and did not speak for about 30 seconds. He did not appear to immediately respond when a member of his staff approached him to ask if he had heard the question.

“All right, I’m sorry, you all. We’re going to need a minute,” the aide said during that interval.

McConnell suffered a similar episode July 26 in Washington, D.C., where he froze and was briefly unable to speak at a press conference.

In that case, McConnell’s fellow senators rushed in to help him, and after a few minutes he returned to the lectern and continued speaking to reporters.

At the time, McConnell dismissed questions about whether the health scare was in any way connected to a concussion he suffered earlier this year when he fell at a political fundraiser.

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