Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who recently returned to work after a months-long absence, had her incoming calls screened while she was recovering from shingles and “several” other undisclosed “complications.”
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. As many people close to the senator called her current state “frightening,” the New York Times revealed on Thursday that she had “several” other undisclosed “complications.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) arrives to the U.S. Capitol Building on May 10, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) pic.twitter.com/7xiQotbIKI
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 10, 2023
However, the Times also reported she was screening the majority of the calls from California lawmakers, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) — who would ultimately be the person to appoint a successor — and declined a visit from the state’s other senator, Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA):
At home in San Francisco during her recovery, Ms. Feinstein refused to have contact with California lawmakers who tried checking in with her. A call from Mr. Newsom on her personal phone was answered by an aide and went unreturned. An offer of an in-person visit from Senator Alex Padilla, Democrat of California, was flatly rejected. Even some family members who wanted to see her were turned away [Emphasis added].
Throughout her latest health ordeal, Ms. Feinstein remained adamant about her need to return to work. She agitated to return to Washington as pressure mounted for her to step aside or physically show up to vote so that Democrats could advance President Biden’s judicial nominees and move ahead with their agenda in the closely divided Senate.
The new revelations that Feinstein kept secret that she was much sicker than previously reported– hospitalized not just for shingles, but for brain inflammation–cannot be ignored.
Feinstein frailer than ever, but unwilling to leave Senatehttps://t.co/VyvJdMBSf1
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) May 19, 2023
According to the report, one of the only people Feinstein would speak to over the phone was Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who has reportedly “encouraged her to listen to the advice of her doctors” over “multiple conversations” the two had.
During her absence from the Senate, she refused to resign despite receiving numerous calls. And due to her stubbornness not to retire early from office, the senator planned and executed a return to Washington.
Nevertheless, returning to Washington ultimately only 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,” the Times noted.
Reportedly, people close to her are privately joking that she will only start to consider resigning from office when she is “dead.”