78-year-old Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell claims that his health is just fine, but recent photographs show that one of his hands is very badly bruised and appears to be decaying. Critics suspect that McConnel is downplaying the severity of whatever health issue he is dealing with because he is seeking reelection and does not want to appear weak.
A photo shared online on Wednesday showed McConnell bending down to pick up a dropped face mask on Capitol Hill. In the photo, it is clear that there is something seriously wrong with McConnell’s hand, as it is much darker than the rest of his body and his thumb is also bandaged.
In an exchange this week with Politico reporter John Bresnahan, McConnell deflected when asked about his hand, and instead responded by saying that he was concerned about Breshnan’s health. When asked the same question by a different reporter for CNN, McConnell deflected again and oddly told the CNN reporter to look into Breshnan’s health. Instead of answering questions about his own health, he repeatedly made jokes about the condition of a seemingly healthy reporter.
After such an issue was made out of his hand, McConnell spent the rest of the week walking around with his hands in his pockets to avoid any more pictures being taken.
One doctor consulted by The Daily Mail speculated that the bruising could be a combination of McConnell taking anticoagulation medication and experiencing ‘repetitive trauma’
The images of McConnell’s hands have been confirmed as real by the fact-checking website Snopes. The website indicated that some people believe that it could be a COVID-related symptom, while others believe that he could be on dialysis.
“Why McConnell’s hands exhibit purplish bruises and bandages has prompted much speculation, with guesses ranging from claims that the senator has contracted Covid-19 to the possibility that he has a vascular disease and/or is undergoing dialysis and is taking blood thinners,” the article stated.
In 2019, McConnell fractured his shoulder after he tripped and fell at his Kentucky home. He also underwent triple heart bypass surgery in 2003.
Marisa McNee, a spokesperson for Kentucky Democratic Party, said that the secrecy surrounding his condition is strange because he has been fairly transparent about his health in the past.
“It’s understandable that Senator McConnell might not want to discuss questions about his health so close to an election. But as Senate Majority Leader, he is a public figure which requires more disclosure and transparency than just the average private person,” McNee said, adding that, “It’s not clear why he’s suddenly become so secretive, but we certainly wish him well and hope he is okay.”
In 2015, Time listed McConnell as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. McConnell is the longest-serving U.S. senator for Kentucky in history, and the longest-serving leader of U.S. Senate Republicans in history. During the Trump administration, Senate Republicans, under McConnell’s leadership, broke records on the number of judicial nominees confirmed. Among those nominees were Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh who were recently confirmed to the Supreme Court.
McConnell’s critics have called him by a variety of different nicknames, including “Moscow Mitch”, “Cocaine Mitch”, the “Grim Reaper”, “Darth Vader”, “Rich Mitch”, “Nuclear Mitch”, and “Midnight Mitch.” On some occasions, he has even embraced these nicknames, although he was apparently unhappy with the more recent “Moscow Mitch.”