Headline RoundupAugust 30th, 2023

Mitch McConnell Freezes While Addressing Reporters, Mirroring July Incident

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared to freeze and become temporarily unresponsive while addressing reporters on Wednesday, mirroring a similar incident in late July. 

Key Quotes: “Leader McConnell felt momentarily lightheaded and paused during his press conference today,” a McConnell spokesperson stated afterward. The Washington Post (Lean Left bias) quoted an unnamed McConnell aide stating that the Senator would consult a doctor “as a prudential measure” before future events. 

Details: The incident was captured on video. A reporter asked McConnell his thoughts on running for reelection. McConnell asks the reporter to repeat the question. The reporter repeats the questions twice, after which McConnell appears to begin a sentence before trailing off. He stood frozen for roughly seven seconds before an aide approached and asked if he heard the question. McConnell continued to not respond for roughly ten more seconds before telling his aide he was okay, after which he continued taking questions. In late July, McConnell froze for roughly 20 seconds during a press conference, raising concerns about his health. A McConnell aide offered the same explanation for the incident in July as the one Wednesday, stating that the senator was lightheaded. In March, McConnell was briefly hospitalized after suffering a concussion from a fall.

How the Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum covered the incident prominently on Wednesday, with coverage consistently linking this incident to the one last month, McConnell’s concussion in March, and McConnell’s age, 81.

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