WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was hospitalized and is being treated for a concussion after he tripped at a hotel Wednesday night, a spokesman said.
“Leader McConnell tripped at a dinner event Wednesday evening and has been admitted to the hospital and is being treated for a concussion," McConnell's communications director, David Popp, said Thursday in a statement. "He is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days of observation and treatment. The Leader is grateful to the medical professionals for their care and to his colleagues for their warm wishes.”
McConnell fell after an event for the Senate Leadership Fund — a Republican super PAC aligned with McConnell and GOP leadership — at the Waldorf Astoria in Washington, said two senators who attended.
Vito Maggiolo, a spokesman for the Washington Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, said Thursday morning that an “adult male” was transported from the Waldorf Astoria at 9:17 p.m. Wednesday and that the call was dispatched after a report of a fall at the hotel. The person was transported to a local hospital, and “notes did not indicate patient condition,” he said.
He said he could not specify whether the person was McConnell or which hospital he was taken to, citing privacy issues under a federal law restricting release of medical information.
A senator said Thursday that “I can tell you that he’s going to be OK” after having been in touch with a McConnell family member.
In remarks on the Senate floor Thursday morning, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he called McConnell and spoke with his staff.
“My thoughts this morning are with my good friend Leader Mitch McConnell, who is recovering from in the hospital after an accident last night," Schumer said. "This morning I offer a prayer of strength and healing for the leader and his family. I called the leader this morning and spoke briefly with his staff to extend my prayers and well wishes.”
President Joe Biden tweeted to wish McConnell well: "Jill and I are wishing Senator McConnell a speedy recovery. We look forward to seeing him back on the Senate floor," he said.
Multiple senators said Thursday that they haven’t yet heard from McConnell and don’t have information about his condition.
“No, I haven’t spoken to him directly,” Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., told reporters.
“It was an SLF event,” said Thune, a McConnell ally, referring to the Senate Leadership Fund, adding that he was at the reception with McConnell but didn’t witness the fall, as he left after the reception for another event.
McConnell stayed for the dinner, Thune said. “I mean, we have, I think, very limited information on it.”
Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said he hopes it won’t have too much of an impact if McConnell is out for a few days or longer.
“As you can tell, it’s not like we’re breaking a sweat around here on the floor. As far as the committee work, it’s moving along, and he doesn’t have a lot of impact on that anyway,” he said. “As far as the floor action — we’re missing a lot of people, let’s put it that way.”
A different Republican senator spoke about trying to find out more about McConnell from Senate leadership but getting no answers.
“No, we haven’t heard anything,” Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama said. “Nobody’s passed anything down the line to any of us. We haven’t heard."
Tuberville added that members were expecting a briefing at lunch Thursday.
In 2019, McConnell fractured a shoulder when he tripped and fell at his home in Kentucky. He underwent surgery.
The incident Wednesday night was first reported by Punchbowl News, a politics news website.
McConnell was first elected to the Senate in 1984, and in 2020 he was re-elected to serve a seventh term.
He was the Senate majority leader from 2015 until early 2021, when Democrats became the majority party after the 2020 elections.