Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is not buying Capitol attending physician Brian Monahan’s explanation of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell’s recent freeze-ups.
On both occasions, McConnell’s staff claimed he felt “lightheaded”. Monahan said in a letter last week that lightheadedness “is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration.” McConnell was hospitalized in March after he fell during a dinner and suffered a concussion and a fractured rib.
In a letter Tuesday, the Capitol physician told McConnell that after running several medical tests, including an EEG, and consulting with neurologists, he found “there is no evidence that you have a seizure disorder or that you experienced a stroke, TIA or movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease.”
But, Paul told The Hill Wednesday that Monahan’s findings are “clearly not accurate” and “most Americans” are skeptical of his claims.
“When you get dehydrated you don’t have moments where your eyes look in the distance with a vacant look and you’re sort of basically unconscious with your eyes open. That is not a symptom of dehydration,” Paul, an ophthalmologist said.
Paul also questioned Monahan using an EEG to rule out the possibility of McConnell suffering from a seizure disorder.
“A normal EEG doesn’t rule out seizures. First of all, 25 percent of people who’ve had a brain injury end up having seizures after their injury,” he said. “Now if you get an EEG and it’s normal, does that mean he doesn’t have a seizure disorder? No, that means that you didn’t find it because he didn’t have a seizure while he was having the test.”
“The bottom line is, it is a medical mistake to say that someone doesn’t have a seizure disorder because they have a normal EEG,” Paul added.
McConnell, 81, is the longest serving Senate leader in history. Last year, he won a ninth term as the GOP Senate leader by easily defeating Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) in a 37-10 vote.