‘Frightening’: Dianne Feinstein Suffered ‘Several’ Undisclosed Complications After Hospitalization

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is assisted to a wheelchair by staff as she returns to th
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who recently returned to work after a months-long absence, reportedly had “several complications,” many of which have not been publicly disclosed, after she returned home from being hospitalized for shingles.

Feinstein returned to the Senate last week with a “frail appearance” after missing nearly three months of work from being hospitalized for shingles in February. This week, the New York Times revealed that the shingles had “spread to her face and neck, causing vision and balance impairments and facial paralysis known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome.”

The Times added:

The virus also brought on a previously unreported case of encephalitis, a rare but potentially debilitating complication of shingles, according to two people familiar with the senator’s diagnosis who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe it.

Characterized by swelling of the brain, post-shingles encephalitis can leave patients with lasting memory or language problems, sleep disorders, bouts of confusion, mood disorders, headaches and difficulties walking. Older patients tend to have the most trouble recovering. And even before this latest illness, Ms. Feinstein had already suffered substantial memory issues that had raised questions about her mental capacity.

However, after receiving numerous calls to resign — and her stubbornness not to resign — the senator’s return to Washington showed how fragile she is and the “bleak reality” that she is “far from ready to return to work when she did” as she struggles to “function in a job that demands long days, near-constant engagement on an array of crucial policy issues and high-stakes decision-making.”

As the Times noted, many people close to the senator described her current state as “frightening.”

Additionally, while the senator is adamant about retiring early, people close to her are reportedly privately joking that she will only start to consider resigning from office when she is “dead.”

“I admire the senator deeply, and I am sorry she is so not well,” a major Democrat donor and longtime supporter of the senator, Susie Tompkins Buell, told the Times.

“The Senate has critical, challenging work to do, and as the stakes are so high and she is not able to be present, to be informed and active, let alone have the rest she needs in order to recover, I feel she needs to step down,” Tompkins Buell added. “And yet she isn’t willing in this state of mind.”

Feinstein’s office did not want to comment on the article to Times but provided a statement from the senator, saying, “I’m back in Washington, voting and attending committee meetings while I recover from complications related to a shingles diagnosis. I continue to work and get results for California.”

However, on Wednesday, Feinstein denied her absence from the Senate.

“No, I haven’t been gone,” Feinstein told reporters when she was asked about her Senate colleagues’ well-wishes. She added, “You should — I haven’t been gone. I’ve been working.”

“No, I’ve been here. I’ve been voting,” Feinstein also said when asked about working remotely from home. “Please. You either know or don’t know.”

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at jbliss@breitbart.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


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