Home>Articles>Sen. Feinstein’s Office Confirms She Had More Health Issues During Absence Than Reported

Senator Dianne Feinstein (Photo: Feinstein.senate.gov)

Sen. Feinstein’s Office Confirms She Had More Health Issues During Absence Than Reported

Feinstein also had encephalitis and Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

By Evan Symon, May 18, 2023 5:18 pm

On Thursday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) admitted that her staying home to recover from shingles for two months earlier this year was actually due to multiple health issues, with her office going back and forth on what she actually had.

While Feinstein has been the subject of resignation speculation before, most notably in 2017 following the installation of a pacemaker and in 2020 after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg when many commentators noted health issues between the two, the most recent and most intense round of speculation began in February.

That month, shortly after announcing that she would not be running again for the Senate in 2024, Feinstein returned to California to recover from shingles. While she was expected back sometime in March, this did not happen. Her absence caused problems in the Senate Judiciary Committee where a logjam of federal judge nominees began to build as she was the deciding vote given the razor thin Democratic majority in the Senate.

Last month, with Sen. Feinstein’s recovery taking longer than expected, she temporarily left the Judiciary Committee, hoping to have an interim replacement cover for her. However, Republicans rejected the plan, forcing the Committee to only approve Judges whom members from both parties could agree on. With many potential judges held back, critical Senate votes coming up that were reliant on passage with a vote from Feinstein, and concerns growing about her health, Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) began to lead the charge to get her to resign. At it’s peak, dozens of Congressional members, Senators, and leftist/liberal groups pressured Feinstein to resign.

Complicating matters was the 2024 Senate race and Governor Gavin Newsom being responsible for picking a fill-in Senator if she resigned. As a temporary Senator could make a jump to the race as the incumbent and completely derail the current three-way race between Congressional members Adam Schiff, Katie Porter, and Barbara Lee (D-CA), a possible resignation held a lot of weight. This was broken down even further with Newsom having previously said he would choose a black female if Feinstein’s Senate seat opened up, and Lee just so happening to be on his short-list of candidates. Many quickly charged that this would give her an unfair advantage.

However, all of that seemed to end last week when Feinstein returned to Washington and resumed her job as Senator.

Once again, questions quickly arose as many in the press began questioning her about her illness and wondering how recovery from shingles took so long. Other criticism since she has returned has been on her pace of work, as she has only only done her duties “lightly” and focused largely on the areas where she was criticized. Many Democratic Senators defended her, saying that they were continuing to be sensitive to her medical condition.

“We need her in committee and on the floor,” explained Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) earlier this week. “We’re doing our best to be sensitive to her medical condition.”

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) added “She’s been ill and she’s elderly. And I really shouldn’t be talking, actually, because it’s just a difficult situation.”

Feinstein reveals true extent of illness during Senate absence

Meanwhile, Feinstein has been all over the place about what she really had the past several months. While she continuously claimed to only have a bad case of shingles, Feinstein’s office announced on Thursday that she also had encephalitis, which is brain inflammation brought on by another illness, and Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, a complication of shingles that goes after facial nerves.

“While the encephalitis resolved itself shortly after she was released from the hospital in March, she continues to have complications from Ramsay Hunt syndrome,” confirmed her office.

However her office’s statement didn’t pair with Feinstein’s statement earlier in the day when she denied having encephalitis and said that she instead had the flu.

“I did not have encephalitis,” remarked Feinstein. “It really has never been diagnosed properly. It was really a bad flu. I’m doing better, thank you.”

While the contradiction could just be a part of her recovery, it nonetheless added more questions to as if she is really mentally ready to return to office yet, especially since she now has to use a wheelchair for mobility in the Senate. And despite colleagues noting that she is back on the job, she has missed many meetings since she got back, including a Democratic Caucus meeting on firearms, a subject on which she is passionate about.

Despite this, Democrats continued to defend her on Thursday. This included Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), who noted that “If she couldn’t have come back, that’s a different discussion. She’s making the votes now. So we’re not holding up appointments that are really important. She’s here for what’s going to happen in the next couple of weeks.”

However, many others were not happy with the new revelations on Thursday, calling her “contradictions” on Thursday “lies” for what really had been going on.

“While you can see why she didn’t want to tell the public everything, she still lied to Californians the last few months, not to mention lying about her full situation today,” Russell Martin, a political advisor in the Bay Area, told the Globe  Thursday. “It’s even more obvious now that her health is still affecting her Senate duties. This is just going to respark the resignation movement. She just can’t do her duties anymore. She should be thanked for her service, but it’s even more clear now that she needs to go and go soon.”

More clarifications on Feinstein’s health situation are expected to be released soon.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Evan Symon
Spread the news:


11 thoughts on “Sen. Feinstein’s Office Confirms She Had More Health Issues During Absence Than Reported

  1. Good reporting would use a current photo of the Senator. That photo is from what? 60 years ago? 😉

    1. Picture probably from when she was mayor of S.F. and carried heat in her purse. Selling your soul to Lucifer does have its consequences. Kinda had respect for her back in the 80’s.

    1. “Why isn’t there some competency and health test for elected officials?
      Because there is a right to privacy (under HIPAA) for them; and for you and me as well.

          1. Convenient case of amnesia Raymond?

            In case you missed it, just about everyone including waiters, retail workers and others (with no right to know) were demanding (illegally) to know your heart attack jab status.

  2. I would love to hear what Kevin De Leon has to say about this. The worlds dumbest political mafia made sure we re-elected a corpse. Perhaps this is some kind of ideological fetish? For example: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Joseph R. Biden. Is there anything that can be said about who or where the political advisors and flunkies that keep these corpses animated?

  3. If you are talking about vaccine mandates, CW, those were imposed using OSHA workplace requirements. The same as mask mandates. It had nothing to do with “throwing HIPAA under the bus”.

  4. The Democrats chose to cover up the slipping mental abilities of Biden, then Fetterman and now Feinstein- challenging that anything was wrong. The problem is that people have eyes and personal experience with aging family members. Everyone knows what’s up. It’s a naked power move to twist and influence these politicians as they approach the end.

    It didn’t have to be this way, as each should have voluntarily withdrawn from public life with some dignity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *