Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday there were "no concerns" about his health after photos showing apparent bruising and bandages on his hands raised concern among the American people on social media. On Thursday, just a day after the photographs were taken, the 78-year-old Kentucky senator, who is up for re-election, downplayed concerns from questioning reporters.
Asked by Politico reporter John Bresnahan, who pointed out that "everyone's been talking about your hands," if he had "some kind of health issue," McConnell deflected the question. "I've been worried about your health, Bres. How are you feeling?" he asked. When Bresnahan pushed for an answer, stating that he was "serious" and questioning "if there's anything going on we should know about," McConnell, according to BuzzFeed News, said, "of course not."
McConnell again fielded questions later that day from a CNN reporter, who noted that the majority leader had "a bruise or something" and asked if he was "ok." McConnell replied by referring to the Politico reporter, stating, "take a look at Bres." The CNN reporter went on to ask, "So, no concerns," to which McConnell confirmed, "No concerns." McConnell ignored the reporter's question regarding if he had sought medical attention for the apparent issue.
Concern over McConnell's health was first sparked after the senator was photographed Wednesday reaching down to pick up a face mask he had dropped, with deep purple discoloration noticeable on his hands as well as the areas surrounding his mouth. He also had bandages on his hands. That discoloration was again visible in C-SPAN video of McConnell speaking on the Senate floor on Thursday morning, and he has been photographed several times this week with his right hand in his pocket. It is unclear what could have led to the apparent issue, though McConnell has carried on with business as usual, even leading a vote on the Senate floor Wednesday on a $500 billion stimulus relief bill that was ultimately blocked by Democrats.
Addressing his elusive answers regarding his health, Marisa McNee, a spokesperson for Kentucky Democratic Party, said that it is "understandable" that the senator "might not want to discuss questions about his health so close to an election," though as "Senate Majority Leader, he is a public figure which requires more disclosure and transparency than just the average private person." McNee also noted that McConnell in the past has spoken openly about his health, such as when he underwent surgery following a shoulder fracture in 2019.