WASHINGTON – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell suffered a concussion after a fall at a local hotel and remains hospitalized “for several days for observation and treatment,” a spokesman said Thursday.
The 81-year-old senator from Kentucky was at a dinner Wednesday for the Senatorial Leadership Fund, a campaign committee that aligns with him, when he tripped and was hospitalized, his office said. The dinner was held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Washington, formerly the Trump International Hotel in Washington
Spokesman David Pope said McConnell is being treated for a concussion and is “grateful to the medical staff for their care and to his colleagues for their warm wishes.”
In 2019, the Republican leader tripped and fell at his home in Kentucky, fracturing his shoulder. At that time, he underwent surgery to repair a broken shoulder. The Senate had just begun its summer break, and he had been working from home for several weeks while he recovered.
First elected in 1984, McConnell in January became the longest-serving Senate leader when the new Congress convened, breaking the previous record of 16 years.
The taciturn McConnell is often reluctant to discuss his personal life. But at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, he talked about his early childhood experience with polio. He described how his mother insisted he stay off his feet when he was a toddler and worked with him through a specific physical therapy regimen. He acknowledged some difficulties in his old age when climbing stairs.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday morning on the Senate floor that he called McConnell and spoke with his staff “to offer my prayers and best wishes.”
“I join every one of my colleagues in wishing Leader McConnell a speedy and full recovery,” Schumer said.
The Senate, whose average age is 65, has recently been without several members due to illness.
Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pennsylvania, 53, who suffered a stroke during his campaign last year, was expected to be sidelined for several weeks as he was treated for clinical depression. And Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., 89, said last week that she was hospitalized for shingles.
The lack of Democrats has proven to be a problem for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who already has a very narrow 51-49 majority.
Republicans, as the minority party, had an easier time with periodic absences. It’s unclear whether McConnell will withdraw Thursday or if that will affect the planned vote.