Feinstein Returns To Senate But Says She Never Left

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) recently returned to the Senate in a wheelchair after being diagnosed with shingles. When reporters asked her about her return, she said she never left the Senate.

A recent exchange between Feinstein and reporters from Slate and the Los Angeles Times revealed that while the senator may be counted present for votes in the Senate, she may not be fully present in mind.

Despite Feinstein’s “lighter schedule,” she recently answered questions by Slate’s Jim Newell and others. She took questions from reporters after voting against a Republican bill that successfully blocked a “radical” policing law in Washington D.C.

Newell asked Feinstein how she was feeling, to which she responded from her wheelchair, “Oh, I’m feeling fine. I have a problem with the leg.”

Responding to a follow-up question from another reporter concerning her illness, Feinstein added, “Well, nothing that’s anyone’s concern but mine.”

One reporter touched on the issue of her return to the Senate, asking about the well-wishes she received from her colleagues.

“What have I heard about, about what?” Feinstein asked, appearing confused.

“About your return,” the reporter replied.

“I haven’t been gone,” said Feinstein. “You should … I haven’t been gone. I’ve been working.”

A reporter tried to help Feinstein in her answers, asking, “You’ve been working from home is what you’re saying?”

“No, I’ve been here,” Feinstein said, becoming frustrated. “I’ve been voting. Please, you either know or don’t know.”

The Blaze recently reported that Feinstein was first diagnosed with shingles in February 2023, then hospitalized until March 2023. She has been recovering since then.

A statement regarding Feinstein’s return to the Senate suggested she was “still experiencing temporary side effects from the virus including vision and balance impairments.”

An unidentified member of Congress told the San Francisco Chronicle in April 2022 that Feinstein’s mental abilities are “all gone.”

“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. All of that is gone,” the lawmaker said.

“She was an intellectual and political force not that long ago, and that’s why my encounter with her was so jarring. Because there was just no trace of that,” the lawmaker added.