As older U.S. politicians face health concerns, should there be an age limit?
Growing concerns over the health and fitness of some of the United States’ oldest politicians is proving that when it comes to politics, age is not just a number.
The issue was thrust into the spotlight again last week when Mitch McConnell, the 81-year-old Senate Republican leader, appeared to freeze and was unable to respond to a reporter’s question the second such episode in just over a month for the longtime Kentucky senator.
The U.S. Congress’ attending physician later cleared McConnell to continue with his current schedule and workload, and his office has said he has no plans to retire before his current term ends in 2026.
That hasn’t alleviated concerns about the Republican leader, who’s far from the oldest member of the Senate. The conservative National Review publication published an editorial on Thursday urging McConnell to step down, noting he has “notably aged” since suffering a concussion and a broken rib in a fall last March that medical experts say may account for the freezing episodes. (McConnell’s office said both times he was dehydrated.)