Mitch McConnell freezes for second time during press event
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When asked whether he would run for reelection in 2026 at a press event in Covington, Kentucky, the 81-year-old paused for more than 30 seconds.

The senator took several more seconds to recover after being prompted by aides.

After that, he answered two more questions, which staff had to repeat.

Before leaving with aides, he made no comments about his health.

During his press conference today, McConnell felt lightheaded and paused,” a spokesperson said.

A staffer later told CBS News that the lawmaker “feels fine” but “will consult a physician before his next appearance”.

During a press conference at the US Capitol in Washington DC on 26 July, McConnell made his first verbal error.

His colleagues ushered him away after he paused mid-sentence for approximately 20 seconds.

Later, he told reporters he felt “lightheaded” and was fine.

Following a fall outside a Washington area hotel in March, Senator McConnell suffered a concussion and fractured rib, which kept him in the hospital for a week.

In mid-April, he returned to the Senate after being transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

The US media reported that Mr McConnell has fallen at least three times since the freezing incident in July.

As Congress tries to avoid a partial government shutdown at the end of October, this latest episode will again cast doubt on the senator’s health.

Senator John Thune, Mr McConnell’s deputy in the chamber, told reporters the two spoke after the incident. Ryan Wrasse said McConnell sounded like himself and was in good spirits.

He’s a good friend, so I’ll try to contact him later this afternoon, President Biden said later on Wednesday.

Mr. McConnell’s health concerns follow those raised about California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who was absent from the chamber for months after being diagnosed with shingles.

US Senate members average 65 years old.