Report: Dems Fear Feinstein Won't Return to Senate

She hasn't been back since shingles diagnosis last month
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2023 12:00 AM CST
Updated Apr 12, 2023 6:07 PM CDT
Sen. Dianne Feinstein Hospitalized for Shingles
FILE - Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., walks through a Senate corridor at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 14, 2023.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
UPDATE Apr 12, 2023 6:07 PM CDT

Sen. Dianne Feinstein hasn't returned to the Senate since she was hospitalized for shingles early last month and sources tell Politico that Democrats are starting to worry that the 89-year-old senator from California won't come back at all. Feinstein, the oldest sitting US senator, has been undergoing treatment in San Francisco and Politico's sources say the diagnosis appears to have taken a heavy toll on her. In February, Feinstein said she wouldn't seek another term in 2024, but she planned to serve the remainder of the current one. She has missed almost 60 votes since her diagnosis and in her absence, Democrats have been unable to advance President Biden's picks for the federal judiciary.

Mar 3, 2023 12:00 AM CST

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the oldest sitting US senator, has been hospitalized for shingles. The 89-year-old California Democrat is receiving treatment in her hometown of San Francisco, and said in a statement that she expects to make a complete recovery and hopes to return to work in Washington, DC, later this month, Fox News reports. As CNN reports, with Democrats holding a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate and fellow Sen. John Fetterman also hospitalized currently, Feinstein's absence "could influence Democratic strategy."

Typically, it's older people who had chicken pox (the varicella-zoster virus) in the past that develop shingles, which usually involves a painful rash that can last up to a month and sometimes causes nerve pain that lasts longer. Feinstein, who has been in office since 1992, is the longest-serving female senator of all time. She does not plan to run for re-election next year. (More Dianne Feinstein stories.)

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