Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is recovering after suffering a fall at a Washington hotel earlier this month, checked in with some of his GOP colleagues by phone Tuesday.
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the chamber’s minority whip, told reporters he spoke with McConnell for five minutes but offered no details on when the 81-year-old might return to the Senate.
“He sounded like Mitch,” Thune said.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who also chatted with the GOP leader, said “he’s doing better and he’s eager to come back.”
McConnell suffered a concussion and a minor rib fracture after falling at the Waldorf Astoria hotel during an event for the Senate Leadership Fund — a super PAC — which was also attended by other GOP lawmakers.
David Popp, McConnell’s communications director, last week said the Kentucky Republican had been discharged from the hospital, but added that he would have to undergo physical therapy at an inpatient rehabilitation center before returning home.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, (R-W.Va.), told NBC News that she has exchanged text messages with McConnell.
“He said he’s getting stronger and better, and ‘be back soon’ is what he said to me,” Capito said.
This isn’t the first time McConnell has dealt with health issues.
The Senate minority leader, who overcame polio as a child, fractured his shoulder in a 2019 fall at his Kentucky home, and he underwent triple bypass heart surgery in 2003 due to arterial blockages.
In October 2020, he was photographed with badly bruised hands, but stated he was “just fine” and offered no further details.
His absence comes as other senators are also receiving treatment for medical conditions.
Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), who suffered a stroke in May while campaigning, last month checked himself into a hospital for clinical depression, where the 53-year-old continues to carry on some of his duties.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), 89, is recovering at home in California after recently being hospitalized for a case of shingles.
McConnell, who was first elected to the Senate in 1984, made history in January when he became the chamber’s longest-serving party leader of all time.
Arthur Delaney contributed reporting.
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