The most senior member of the United States Congress has been hospitalized for shingles.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) was admitted to a hospital in San Francisco for shingles treatment, as reported by the Washington Examiner. The 89-year-old politician is anticipated to make a full recovery and return to the Senate within the month.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shingles is a virus that causes a painful rash consisting of blisters that scab over after seven to 10 days. One in three people will develop it over the course of their lifetime. Shingles can cause long-term nerve pain, with the risk of complications increasing with age.
Feinstein’s hospitalization for shingles follows her recent announcement that she won’t be seeking re-election in 2024.
However, this news also comes after a report released by the San Francisco Chronicle in April 2022, which cited concerns from four U.S. senators, including three Democrats, a Democratic House member from California, and three former staffers. These individuals expressed apprehensions regarding Feinstein’s allegedly declining memory, which could impact her ability to perform her job duties without the assistance of her staff.
Despite the claims about her mental health, Feinstein said fighting for Californians and the state’s key issues of water and fire remained her priorities.
“I remain committed to do what I said I would when I was re-elected in 2018,” she said, according to People.
Feinstein’s absence from the Senate means that two Democratic senators are currently out for medical treatment. Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), who suffered a stroke last year, recently checked himself into the hospital for clinical depression, per the Washington Examiner.
As Feinstein recovers from shingles, the political landscape in California is heating up.
Democratic Reps. Katie Porter, Adam Schiff, and Barbara Lee have already declared their candidacies for the 2024 Senate election. As The Dallas Express previously reported, this will be a high-profile race, as California is the nation’s most populous state.
Before her election to the Senate, Feinstein was mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988.