Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) returned to Congress after nearly three months, in a wheelchair looking like she had suffered a major stroke rather than shingles and stating that she is still recovering and would work a lighter schedule due to side effects from her illness.
(Video Credit: ABC7 News Bay Area)
Some commented on social media that it looked as though she had literally returned from the grave. Feinstein cast her first vote on Wednesday after her long hiatus. She has missed approximately 100 votes while she has been in the hospital and at home under supervised care.
The frail senator’s car drove her to the entrance of the Capitol building where she was helped out of it by a number of aides and placed in her wheelchair. Reporters relentlessly yelled questions at the 89-year-old Democrat. She appeared weak and looked very pale as she made her way into the building. Her left eye was closed and her face looked off-kilter.
“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. My doctors have advised me to work a lighter schedule as I return to the Senate,” she said in a statement.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) walked by her side as she was wheeled into the Senate.
Dianne Feinstein finally returned to the Hill yesterday looking like a barely reanimated corpse.
We desperately need term limits. pic.twitter.com/3G5teMx04g
— Florida Conservative (@FlaDogLover) May 11, 2023
Elder abuse. Dianne Feinstein should be in a resident care facility, not in a Senate seat.
Democrats are so desperate for a majority vote and to approve Biden’s far-left judicial nominees, they called in the frail, blank, and infirm. pic.twitter.com/wpJ4sIItP7
— Tosca Austen (@ToscaAusten) May 10, 2023
“Hi everybody,” Feinstein called out as she entered the floor, according to the Daily Mail.
“I have returned to Washington and am prepared to resume my duties in the Senate. 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,” Feinstein said in a statement.
Her side effects include lingering pain known as postherpetic neuralgia, painful eye infections that may result in vision loss which partially explains why one eye is closed, facial paralysis, and problems with hearing or balance, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Democrats have been calling for Feinstein’s resignation due to her failing health and cognitive abilities. They are very concerned about her absence holding up confirmations of the president’s judges. Feinstein sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which holds the confirmation hearings.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez threw her support behind Feinstein’s retirement, calling for someone more fit to take her place.
AOC throws her star power behind effort to boot 89-year-old missing senator https://t.co/whlmEmimMM pic.twitter.com/v86d0OOzNq
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 5, 2023
“Her refusal to either retire or show up is causing great harm to the judiciary — precisely where [reproductive] rights are getting stripped,” Ocasio-Cortez said on social media. “That failure means now in this precious window Dems can only pass GOP-approved nominees.”
In a Bluesky AMA, @AOC says Dianne Feinstein should retire and that "criticisms of that stance as 'anti-feminist' are a farce.
Full response: pic.twitter.com/g6wnCzfmkP
— jordan (@JordanUhl) May 2, 2023
Despite her failing mental capabilities, ill health, and advanced age, Feinstein has refused to step down. She has announced she will not run again but seems determined to serve out her term. A number of female Democrats have claimed that it is sexist to ask Feinstein to resign when many white male politicians have served in the Senate until their deaths.
Feinstein lives in San Francisco and flew into D.C. on Tuesday night via a private plane to place her vote in the Senate.
In April, the senator had asked for a temporary replacement on the Judiciary Committee while she recovered. Republicans denied the request. Senate Democrats hold a razor-thin majority in the Senate and Republicans claim that Democrats only wanted a stand-in to push through Biden’s most partisan judicial nominations.
How is Dianne Feinstein still a senator? She’s clearly to old and in advanced stages of senility. Who’s running the show there? Why are her staffers , who are unelected, allowed to make decisions on her behalf?
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) May 10, 2023
A number of Democrats are already vying for Feinstein’s seat in order to help push through their leftist agenda. Her seat has not been vacant for 30 years. Contenders include Reps. Barbara Lee, Adam Schiff, and Katie Porter.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom would have to name someone to fill her seat if she resigns before her term is up. He has said he would appoint a black woman to the seat which qualifies the uber-radical Rep. Barbara Lee. Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna, who has led the call for Feinstein’s resignation, is endorsing Lee as well to replace Feinstein.
“It’s time for [Feinstein] to resign. We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter. “While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties. Not speaking out undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people.”
It’s time for @SenFeinstein to resign. We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty. While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties. Not speaking out undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people.
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) April 12, 2023
California has a jungle primary, meaning that the top two winners, regardless of what party they belong to, will move forward to the general election if Feinstein does not resign.
Reaction to Feinstein’s returning to the Senate was angry and sad, calling it elder abuse and pointing out that she appears to have suffered a stroke:
Can anyone confirm that she “didn’t” have a stroke?
— Brenlin01 (@Brenlin01) May 11, 2023
But You can never leave…. Welcome to the hotel California…
— d2thegmup (@dodgemup) May 11, 2023
— MeetVirginia (@stardustnthyme) May 10, 2023
Just sad and shameless.
— 3rd Degree Byrne (@3rddegreebyrn) May 11, 2023
I’m no Doctor, but that isn’t shingles.
— Booker (@BookerSparticus) May 10, 2023
Looks like she’s been hangin with Fetterman.
— Hank (R) Deplorable (@DeplorableHank1) May 10, 2023
That’s cruel. She looks to be in rough shape.
— Brian (@TheBri75) May 10, 2023
Despicable. They only care about the votes
— Christine (@krsytine) May 11, 2023
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