Yesterday we had an item about how U.S. Capitol Physician Brian Monahan gave Mitch McConnell a clean bill of health. He's fit as a fiddle, end of story, right? Not so fast. None other than the other Kentucky senator, Rand Paul (R), yesterday said: it's "not a valid medical diagnosis." Not only is Paul a Republican senator from McConnell's own state, but he is also a physician himself, one of four in the Senate, the others being John Barrasso (R-WY), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Roger Marshall (R-KS). Now, Paul is an ophthalmologist, but since the eye-bone is connected to the brain-bone, his area of expertise is at least closer to the issue at hand than that of orthopedist and rodeo physician Barrasso, liver specialist Cassidy, or gynecologist Marshall. Paul went on to say: "I don't think it's been particularly helpful to have the Senate doctor describing it as dehydration, which I think even a non-physician seeing that probably aren't really accepting that explanation."
Paul isn't the only Republican senator who is not impressed with the official diagnosis. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said: "You can't have it both ways. You can't say that you're concerned about Joe Biden but you're not concerned about Mitch McConnell. It's either one or the other."
McConnell did get some support from other senators, though. Sort of. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said: "The health scares he's had were frightening, but age comes for us all, and Mitch is stubborn as a mule and he's tough." Is that an endorsement of McConnell or a put down? The other Texas senator, John Cornyn (R-TX), who is eyeing McConnell's job, said: "It appears that it's harder to recover from a concussion when you're 81 years old than maybe he thought." Sen. John Thune (R-SD), who is also greatly interested in having McConnell's job, said he had a couple of conversations with McConnell. He also said the Kentuckian: "will have an opportunity to address colleagues about his health and other issues at lunch later in the week."
The National Review, an influential conservative publication, has called for McConnell to step aside. So far, he has given no sign that he intends to. Maybe the third time's a charm. Late yesterday, McConnell announced that he will finish his current term. If there are no more incidents, probably he will. However, if there is another one in public, well, it could be three strikes and you are out. (V)