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Mitch McConnell shares update with people concerned after he ‘froze’ at press conference

Mitch McConnell shares update with people concerned after he ‘froze’ at press conference

The Kentucky senator stopped speaking for around 30 seconds before being led away

Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell has shared an update on his health after he suddenly stopped speaking in the middle of a press conference on Capitol Hill.

Concerned colleagues gathered around McConnell on Wednesday (26 July) when he froze for around 20 seconds while in front of the microphone.

McConnell had been speaking about the annual defense bill at the time, and announced it was proceeding with 'good bipartisan cooperation' before he trailed off into silence and started staring straight ahead.

McConnell was asked if he felt okay after he stopped speaking, with senator John Barrasso seen asking: “Hey Mitch, anything else you want to say? Or should we just go back to your office? Do you want to say anything else to the press?”

McConnell remained silent and was led away from the press conference to return to his office, leaving the crowd confused over what had just happened.

Mitch McConnell was led away after he 'froze'.
ABC News

The unusual silence came just a few months after the 81-year-old suffered a fall which left him with a concussion and broken ribs. In the aftermath of his fall, McConnell was taken to hospital and had to undergo several weeks of rehab.

A few minutes after he left the lectern, McConnell returned to the press conference and faced questions from reporters.

When asked by CNN whether the silence was related to his fall, McConnell gave an update on his health as he said: “No, I’m fine."

An aide added that the 81-year-old 'felt light headed and stepped away for a moment'.

“He came back to handle Q and A, which as everyone observed was sharp,” the aide said.

McConnell returned to the lectern after being led away.
ABC News

McConnell insisted he was fine again when leaving the Capitol, adding that he'd spoken with President Joe Biden after the conference.

Making a jokey reference to Biden accidentally tripping over a sandbag last month, McConnell said: "The president called to check on me. I told him I got sandbagged."

Barrasso told reporters he'd 'wanted to make sure everything was fine' after McConnell stopped speaking, and said he'd been concerned after his fall earlier this year.

However, Barrasso made clear: “I said I was concerned when he fell and hit his head a number of months ago and was hospitalized. And I think he’s made a remarkable recovery, he’s doing a great job leading our conference and was able to answer every question the press asked him today.”

McConnell became the longest-serving Senate party leader in history in January after first getting elected in 1984.

Featured Image Credit: ABC

Topics: US News, Politics