Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) sustained a concussion on Wednesday evening due to a fall at a dinner event and will remain hospitalized for a few more days.
The 81-year-old lawmaker tripped during a reception and dinner for the Senate Leadership Fund, a political action committee designed to elect Republicans to the upper chamber, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Washington, D.C. McConnell spokesman David Popp confirmed on Wednesday that he “tripped at a local hotel during a private dinner” and “has been admitted to the hospital where he is receiving treatment.”
McConnell is a polio survivor and sometimes suffers injuries related to his balance issues, including a fractured shoulder four years ago when he fell at his home in Kentucky. Popp added on Thursday morning that the lawmaker will stay in the hospital for “observation and treatment.”
“Leader McConnell tripped at a dinner event Wednesday evening and has been admitted to the hospital and is being treated for a concussion. He is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days,” Popp remarked. “The Leader is grateful to the medical professionals for their care and to his colleagues for their warm wishes.”
Other members of the Senate Republican leadership previously said they did not have information about their colleague’s status, according to a Thursday report from The Hill.
“We just really don’t know much at this point,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) told reporters. “Evidently this happened later in the evening, and I was at a different dinner by then. We have very limited information on it. I’m sure we’ll get more.”
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), who serves as an adviser to Republican leadership in the chamber, added that he also has minimal information about the seven-term lawmaker’s condition. “I understand that he’s resting up, but I don’t have any details,” he said.
District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department spokesman Vito Maggiolo said on Thursday that an “adult male” was moved from the Waldorf Astoria to a nearby hospital on Wednesday evening. He added that he could not specify whether the individual who fell was McConnell or where he is receiving treatment, according to a report from NBC News.
An unnamed member of the Senate told the outlet that he has been in touch with a McConnell family member and said that the lawmaker is “going to be OK.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wished his counterpart a swift recovery during remarks on the Senate floor on Thursday morning. “My thoughts this morning are with my good friend Leader Mitch McConnell, who is recovering in the hospital after an accident last night,” he said. “This morning I offer a prayer of strength and healing for the leader and his family. I called the leader this morning and spoke briefly with his staff to extend my prayers and well wishes.”
The medical issues faced by McConnell follow the health challenges of other lawmakers.
Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) was hospitalized last month after feeling lightheaded during a Democratic Senate retreat and later checked himself in for treatment related to his severe clinical depression. The 53-year-old former rust belt mayor and lieutenant governor suffered a stroke and was hospitalized mere days before the Democratic primary and was sidelined for the first two months of the general election campaign. Fetterman stuttered and lost his train of thought during stump speeches throughout the campaign, raising concerns among some voters about his capacity to effectively represent the state of Pennsylvania.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) was hospitalized last week over a case of shingles. The 89-year-old, who recently announced that she will not run for reelection, has since been released from the hospital and is at home to continue her recovery.