Sen. Cassidy says all federal candidates should publicly release health records

 September 12, 2023

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) could be compelled to resign and be replaced in his leadership role for health reasons under a proposed policy suggested by one of his Senate Republican colleagues, USA Today reported.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who is also a medical doctor, recently suggested that all federal candidates should publicly disclose their health records along with their tax returns in the interest of transparency when running for office.

That would seemingly apply to Sen. McConnell following two incidents in as many months in which he appeared to freeze and be unable to move or speak for upwards of 30 seconds during press conferences -- frightening instances that have called into question the general health of the elderly Kentucky senator.

Voters should expect "transparency" on health issues from elected officials

On NBC News' "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Sen. Cassidy was asked by host Chuck Todd to address concerns about the increasingly apparent declining health issues for Sen. McConnell, President Joe Biden, and a few other elderly members of Congress.

To be sure, Cassidy expressed no real concerns about McConnell and said the Senate GOP leader had handled the aftermath of his two freezing incidents "perfectly" by publicly releasing information from his doctor about his overall health and test results which purported to show that McConnell remained capable of continuing to serve in elected office -- a development he then applied to Biden.

"Shouldn't there be transparency? Shouldn't President Biden, for example, release a full kind of neurologic evaluation of his cognitive ability and whomever else?" the Louisiana senator said. "Do what Mitch just did. There was total transparency."

President Biden's White House, meanwhile, has been decidedly non-transparent in comparison with regard to his obviously declining physical and mental health that, along with his advanced age, are consistently shown to be top concerns for voters ahead of the 2024 election.

All candidates should release health records along with tax returns

What Sen. Cassidy was referencing, per an earlier CBS News report last week, was how Sen. McConnell's office had publicly shared letters he had received from Capitol Physician Dr. Brian Monahan which ruled out seizures, strokes, and other health conditions as the reason for his freezing up at press conferences twice within the past two months.

Rather, the doctor attributed the concerning episodes to McConnell's continuing recovery from a concussion he suffered during a fall in March, and provided the results of various tests that were undertaken in order for him to reach the conclusion that McConnell was "medically clear" to continue serving as an elected official.

Cassidy told Todd that there should be a standard "House rule" -- though not necessarily a constitutional requirement -- for all candidates to be president or serve in Congress to publicly release their health records along with their tax returns.

"I think if you want to be the president of the United States, or a senator, or a House member, then there is a responsibility over and above that of just offering yourself. It has to be that you can show that you have clarity," the senator said.

Three-quarters of Republicans say McConnell should step down as leader

For what it is worth, while it seems that Sen. Cassidy is satisfied with the "transparency" of Sen. McConnell's office in publicly releasing the test results that formed the basis of the doctor's opinion that McConnell remained fit to continue serving in office, the Louisiana senator is in a decided minority in feeling that way.

Breitbart reported on a recent Rasmussen poll which found that 74% of Republican voters believe that McConnell needs to resign from his leadership position due to his recent health issues and be replaced by somebody else, with a similar 73% of Democrats saying the same thing.

McConnell, however, appears to have no such intentions, as the 81-year-old Senate leader recently revealed that he planned to serve out the remainder of his term both as the GOP leader as well as in the Senate more generally.

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