09 March 2023

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in hospital after fall

09 March 2023

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell was taken to hospital on Wednesday after a fall at a hotel, a spokesman for the senator said.

Mr McConnell, 81, was attending a private dinner at a local hotel when he tripped. He was admitted to a hospital for treatment, spokesman Doug Andres said.

In 2019, the Republican leader, a survivor of childhood polio, tripped and fell at his home in Kentucky, suffering a shoulder fracture.

At the time, he underwent surgery to repair the fracture in his shoulder. The Senate had just started a summer recess and he worked from home for some weeks as he recovered.

The taciturn Mr McConnell is often reluctant to discuss his private life. But at the start of the Covid-19 crisis he opened up about his early childhood experience fighting polio.

He described how his mother insisted that he stay off his feet as a toddler and worked with him through a determined physical therapy regime. He has acknowledged some difficulty in adulthood climbing stairs.

First elected in 1984, McConnell in January became the longest-serving Senate leader when the new Congress convened, breaking the previous record of 16 years.

The Senate, where the average age is 65, has been without several members recently due to illness.

The office of Democrat Dianne Feinstein, 90, said she was taken to hospital last week to be treated for shingles.

Meanwhile, fellow Democrat John Fetterman, 53, who suffered a stroke during his campaign last year, was expected to remain out for some weeks as he received care for clinical depression.

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