89-year-old Dem Sen. Dianne Feinstein hospitalized for shingles

 March 3, 2023

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has been hospitalized for shingles in California.

The diagnosis and hospital stay forced her to miss votes this week in Washington.

The statement

“I was diagnosed over the February recess with a case of shingles. I have been hospitalized and am receiving treatment in San Francisco and expect to make a full recovery," Feinstein said in a statement on Thursday.

"I hope to return to the Senate later this month,” the statement added.

Shingles is a disease that includes a painful skin rash and typically lasts from three to five weeks. The illness is not life-threatening but can be dangerous for older individuals or those with weakened immune systems.

The senator's retirement

The health situation comes shortly after the senator announced that she would not seek reelection in 2024.

"The time has come," Feinstein told reporters. "It's not till the end of next year. So don't hold your breath. And you know, there are times for all things under the sun, and I think that will be the right time."

Democratic Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff have announced they will run for her seat, with other candidates jumping into the likely crowded field of contenders.

Before she officially announced her retirement, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she would support Schiff if Feinstein retired.

Feinstein has yet to endorse any of her Democratic challengers for her position. She has served for 30 years and is the oldest sitting senator in Congress.

The latest move adds to concerns for Democrats that also includes Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) hospitalized for depression as the Senate faces several important votes in her absence, along with some issues in which Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has opposed his party and sided with Republicans.

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