Joe Biden defended his “friend” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s ability to hold office after his freezing episode earlier this week, which prompted calls for him to step down.
“I spoke to Mitch,” Biden said.
“He’s a friend, and I spoke to him today, and he was his old self on the telephone. And having a little understanding of dealing with neurosurgeons and people, and one of the leading women in my staff, her husband’s a neurosurgeon as well, it’s not at all unusual to have a response that sometimes happens to Mitch when you’ve had a severe concussion,” Biden added.
“It’s part of the recovery, and so I’m confident he’s going to be back to his old self.”
Despite the Joe Biden defending McConnell’s ability, questions rose after he suffered another freezing while answering questions from reporters during an address to the Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.
Earlier this year, McConnell had another freezing episode at the US Capitol as questions mounted over the 81-year-old’s capacity to carry out his role.
The attending physician of Congress, Dr. Brian Monahan, said on Thursday that McConnell is “medically clear to continue with his schedule as planned.”
“I have consulted with Leader McConnell and conferred with his neurology team. After evaluating yesterday’s incident, I have informed Leader McConnell that he is medically clear to continue with his schedule as planned,” Dr. Brian Monahan stated in a letter distributed by McConnell’s office.
“Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration,” added Dr. Monahan.
Mitch McConnell, who has served for over 30 years and has led the Senate Republican caucus since 2007, was treated for a concussion and a fractured rib after a fall earlier this year.
While Biden and others tried to reassure Americans that the Senate leader was in good health, some said he was not fit to do the job.
“He really should contemplate either stepping down as leader, announcing he’s going to retire at the end of this term, and maybe go to a reduced role in the Senate,” said former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum.
Conservative Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, referring to McConnell, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), calling for a federal oversight
“Severe aging health issues and/or mental health incompetence in our nation’s leaders MUST be addressed. Biden, McConnell, Feinstein, and Fetterman are examples of people who are not fit for office, and it’s time to be serious about it,” Greene wrote.
“We are talking about our country’s national security, and it’s all at stake! 25th amendment and other measures need to be on the table.”