OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will not be returning to his legislative duties as soon as some believed he would after falling and having to be hospitalized last week.
Instead, the Kentucky Republican will be headed to rehab, according to reports on Tuesday.
McConnell injured himself when he fell during a Republican fundraising event at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. He was then transported to George Washington University Hospital. He left Monday for the rehab facility, his office said, the Western Journal reported.
In a statement, David Popp, the communications director for McConnell, explained the treatment plan for the minority leader.
“Leader McConnell’s concussion recovery is proceeding well and the Leader was discharged from the hospital today. At the advice of his physician, the next step will be a period of physical therapy at an inpatient rehabilitation facility before he returns home,” Popp said this week.
Mitch McConnell has been discharged from the hospital after a concussion and, according to his spokesperson, a "minor rib fracture."
McConnell will head to inpatient physical therapy before he goes home. pic.twitter.com/PfuLC6PPgb
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) March 13, 2023
“The Leader and Secretary Chao are deeply thankful for the skilled medical care, prayers, and kindness they have received,” Popp continued on behalf of McConnell and his wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
Additionally, Popp disclosed that McConnell had incurred a minor rib fracture in addition to the previously disclosed concussion from the accident, information that had not been previously shared. One of McConnell’s aides, meanwhile, indicated that the Republican leader might stay at the medical facility for a period ranging from several days to a few weeks, according to CNN.
“That decision will be made by the Leader’s physicians and the therapists. It is very common to undergo physical therapy to regain strength after a hospital stay and this ranges anywhere from a week to two weeks,” the aide said, according to the outlet.
McConnell is not the only senator who’s been away from the chamber for health reasons in recent days. Democratic Sens. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania and Dianne Feinstein of California have also been hospitalized in recent weeks, with Fetterman seeking treatment for depression and Feinstein for shingles.
Both sides of the aisle are impacted by absences in the chamber that is divided by 51 members of the Democratic Caucus to Republicans’ 49. With such a tight margin, any one missing senator can alter the timing for votes concerning party-line legislation or confirming President Joe Biden’s Executive Branch nominees.
Last week, Twitter CEO Elon Musk tore into McConnell after the GOP Senate leader took a stand against Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
“With regard to the presentation on Fox News last night, I want to associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief of the Capitol Police about what happened on January 6th,” Sen. McConnell said to reporters on Tuesday.
McConnell was referencing a statement issued by the Capitol Police that shredded Carlson and the footage he showed.
The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police issued a memo to his staff on Tuesday following the airing of previously unseen security footage by Fox News host Tucker Carlson which showed police officers appearing to stand passively as a large crowd entered the Capitol on January 6.
Police Chief Tom Manger condemned the comments made during the airing of the footage on Carlson’s Monday night program, stating that it was “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions” about the riot of January 6, 2021, when a group of people breached the U.S. Capitol building, causing disruptions to lawmakers who were in the process of certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
“The program conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video,” Manger claimed. “The commentary fails to provide context about the chaos and violence that happened before or during these less tense moments.”
But Musk found McConnell’s opinion to be at odds with most in the Republican party, which he is supposed to represent.
“I keep forgetting which party he belongs to,” Musk said in response to a tweet from Charlie Kirk that showed Sen. McConnell making his comments.
I keep forgetting which party he belongs to
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 7, 2023