Dr. Marc Siegel, a medical contributor for Fox News, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN, offered their expert opinions on the recent chilling incident involving Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). They provided information regarding the prospective underlying health condition that may have contributed to this event.
During a news conference on Wednesday, 81-year-old Senator McConnell paused with a vacant expression on his face for over 30 seconds. This was the second instance of a similar freeze-up within a month’s time.
During an episode of The Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News, Siegel commented on McConnell’s condition, stating that, despite not having conducted a personal examination, his professional conjecture would incline toward Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease because, in its advanced phases, it can induce freezing.
According to Siegel:
“It can also explain why no one around him in these freezes is panicking and saying, ‘This could be a stroke. This could be a seizure.’ It could be those things too, by the way, but again, then you would rush him into immediate treatment and analysis. You’d do an MRI, you would do an EEG to see if it could be a seizure, but if it’s Parkinson’s, you already know about that and somebody diagnosed that clinically by doing an examination, and treatment helps by the way.”
He further expressed, “Again, I’m not saying that’s what it is, but I think what’s really striking here is that alarm bells didn’t immediately go off among medical personnel around,” before concluding, “If he has latter stages of a neurological disease, I would think that he would consider stepping down.”
During an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s The Situation Room, Gupta also discussed the possibility of Parkinson’s disease.
“There’s a long list of possibilities here. I think what we saw was pretty concerning. I think most people could see that.” According to Gupta, “It was similar to what we saw in July where there was this freezing. It’s the freezing of the speech, it’s the freezing of the body, it’s the tight sort of grasping of the side of the lectern.”
He further stated, “His face even has this mask-like feature to it. So there’s a lot of things that are going on there.”
Gupta posited that McConnell’s condition might have been attributable to a seizure or a comparable medical event, “It could be something like when somebody comes off of their medications for things like Parkinson’s. When the medication start to wear off, they may start to have freezing episodes as well.”
Similar to Siegel, Gupta observed that “One of the things that was really noticeable to me is that when his aides approached him, they did not seem so surprised by this. While we’ve seen it a couple of times, you got the impression that this happens much more often. They didn’t seem particularly alarmed by it.”
He finished by saying, “If it was the first time or an unknown thing, I think there probably would have been more of a rush or an interest at least in getting him to a doctor more quickly.”
McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, was hissed and shouted “RETIRE” and “DITCH MITCH” as he spoke at a Kentucky community gathering over the weekend at the beginning of this month.
McConnell was speaking at the 143rd annual Fancy Farm picnic, a summer tradition in Kentucky since 1881, when he was occasionally completely blotted out by the booing and jeering, which was documented on camera.
Despite the audience’s disapproval, the 81-year-old political professional persisted.
The 81-year-old congressman stated, “This is my 28th Fancy Farm, and I assure you that it will not be my last. The citizens of this state have selected me seven times for this position, and I wish to express my gratitude.
The annual celebration is sponsored by St. Jerome, an adjacent Catholic church, and takes place in the southwestern community of Fancy Farm.
“So, we know that the political speaking attracts folks from all over the state of Kentucky to the Picnic but it’s the 19,000 pounds of BBQ that makes our picnic special. We once held the Guinness Book of World Records for the Largest One Day Picnic and BBQ. You won’t find any better BBQ pork and mutton anywhere,” the church’s website claims.
Former President Donald Trump has frequently criticized McConnell, releasing a video of the protests to his Truth Social platform.
“I AGREE!” Trump penned in a hilarious post. “BOOOOO—RETIRE, RETIRE, RETIRE—BOOOOO!!!”