On August 30, when speaking to reporters in Covington, Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell seemed to pause for more than 30 seconds after being asked if he would seek re-election.
Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell first froze during a press conference on Capitol Hill in July, remaining still for 19 seconds until being led away from the cameras.
Shortly after, McConnell, 81, returned and continued his press conference, telling reporters, "I'm fine."
When it was clear that McConnell had frozen once more in August, a staff member approached him and said, "Did you hear the question, senator?" to which McConnell was still unresponsive.
Following his re-engagement, McConnell quickly responded to a question regarding the Republican attorney general of Kentucky, Daniel Cameron; his assistant had to ask him the subject again. Next, a question concerning former president Donald Trump was directed at McConnell, which was left unanswered.
A spokeswoman added, "Leader McConnell briefly felt dizzy and halted during his news conference today. According to an aide, McConnell "feels fine" but will see a doctor before his next appearance as "a prudential measure."
Steve Daines, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a Republican from Montana, said he called McConnell as well and was "glad to hear the Leader sounds like himself and is feeling fine."
President Joe Biden responded to NBC News' question on McConnell's apparent standstill by saying that he had only just learned of it and would "try to get in touch with him later this afternoon."
Mitch is a friend, as you know — not a joke. ... I know people don't believe that the case, but we have disagreements politically, but he's a good friend.-President Joe Biden
McConnell, who heads the Republican party's slim majority in the upper house of Congress, was hospitalized for a week in March after falling outside a hotel in the Washington, D.C., region and suffering a concussion and a cracked rib. He was moved to a recovery center and didn't return to the Senate until mid-April. After his return, McConnell seemed to move more slowly, and his voice sometimes sounded more sluggish.