Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 90, falls at home and goes to hospital, but scans are clear, her office says

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the oldest member of Congress, fell in her home and went to a hospital for a short time, her office said on Wednesday.

The 90-year-old California Democrat, who has faced mounting concerns about her health and her ability to perform the duties of a senator, “briefly went to the hospital yesterday afternoon as a precaution after a minor fall in her home,” her office said in a statement.


All of her scans were clear, and she returned home later Tuesday, said her spokesman Adam Russell, who provided no further details.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said in a statement he spoke with Feinstein on Wednesday morning.

“She said she suffered no injuries and briefly went to the hospital as a precaution,” Schumer said. “I’m glad she is back home now and is doing well.”

The San Francisco hospital visit comes after Feinstein missed months of work in Washington earlier this year when she was hospitalized for the shingles virus and its side effects. Since her return to work in May, she has traveled the Capitol halls in a wheelchair and has often appeared confused and disoriented.

Feinstein has defended her ability to perform her job, though her office said in May that she was still experiencing vision and balance impairments from the shingles virus.

Feinstein, who took office in 1992, announced earlier this year that she would not seek reelection in 2024. Several Democrats have already entered the race to replace her.

During her hospitalization in the spring, some progressive House Democrats publicly called on her to resign, saying her absence had grounded the push to confirm President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees. However, leading Democrats, including Biden and Schumer, publicly stood beside her.

Nonetheless, Feinstein’s retirement plans have sparked a competitive Democratic contest to replace her, led by a trio of House lawmakers, U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee, Katie Porter and Adam Schiff.

If Feinstein resigns before the 2024 election, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom would name her replacement, potentially reordering the race to succeed her. The governor said in 2021 that he would nominate a Black woman to fill the seat if Feinstein, who’s white, were to step aside.

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