Concerns about Sen. Dianne Feinstein's health persist despite return to Washington

 May 11, 2023

The Washington Examiner reported that California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein returned to Capitol Hill this week after being absent for three months due to shingles.

However, the fact that Feinstein is no longer missing likely won't silence questions about whether she is fit for office. 

Eighty-nine-year-old now requires use of a wheelchair

Footage of the longtime lawmaker was tweeted out by CNN chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju on Wednesday, and it showed Feinstein relying on a wheelchair.

"I’m grateful for all the well-wishes over the past couple of months and for the excellent care that I received from my medical team in San Francisco," the Examiner quoted her as saying in a statement.

"Even though I’ve made significant progress and was able to return to Washington, I’m still experiencing some side effects from the shingles virus," she continued.

Colleagues say Feinstein's mental health is declining

"My doctors have advised me to work a lighter schedule as I return to the Senate. I’m hopeful those issues will subside as I continue to recover," Feinstein explained.

Fox News reported that Feinstein was nearly an hour late in arriving for a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Shingles apparently aren't the senator's only health problem, as there have long been concerns over whether she is mentally fit to hold office.

One of her Democratic colleagues spoke anonymously to the San Francisco Chronicle late last year and described a notable decline in her cognitive abilities.

Congressman calls on Feinstein to step down

"I have worked with her for a long time and long enough to know what she was like just a few years ago: always in command, always in charge, on top of the details, basically couldn’t resist a conversation where she was driving some bill or some idea," the lawmaker said before adding, "All of that is gone."

That led California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna to take the unusual step of calling for Feinstein's resignation last month.

"It’s time for [Sen. Feinstein] to resign," Khanna said in a tweet. "We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty."

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