Mitch McConnell Waves Off Health Questions After Photos of Bandages and Apparent Bruising

Virginia Chamlee
·2 min read

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Sen. Mitch McConnell this week waved off questions about his health after being photographed with a bruised and bandaged hand, which was discolored, and a seemingly swollen lip.

The Senate majority leader and influential Republican, 78, appeared on Capitol Hill several times this week, including at a Wednesday press conference, where small bandages were clearly visible on both of his hands.

McConnell's right hand in particular appeared bruised, leading some to speculate about the Kentucky Republican's health amid an ongoing viral pandemic that's afflicted many in Washington, D.C., already.

He told reporters there were "no concerns" and, asked if he had pressing health issues, said, "Of course not." He declined to say if he was seeing a doctor, however, according to CNN.

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A spokesman for McConnell did not return PEOPLE's request for comment.

The longtime Kentucky lawmaker has suffered health issues in the past.

As a young child, he was diagnosed with polio — more than 10 years before a vaccine was available. In a 2019 speaking engagement at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, McConnell recounted how doctors initially told his mother that he shouldn't be walking after his diagnosis, fearful that he might fall.

“So my mother, like a drill sergeant, literally watched me every waking moment for two years,” McConnell said in the conference. “After two years, my first memory in life was our last visit to Warm Springs, where the nurse told my mother, ‘I think he’s going to be okay.’ ”

Last year, the leader of the Senate Republicans suffered a fractured shoulder after falling at home but was treated and released to work at home while he recovered.

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The apparent bruising seen on McConnell this week likely won't keep him from one of his top priorities: confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Just hours after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, McConnell vowed that the Senate would vote on whomever President Donald Trump nominated to replace for the liberal justice.

Barrett, widely viewed as a conservative jurist, is likely only days away from being confirmed, with the Senate planning to vote on Monday.