United States Senate Republican Mitch McConnell froze up for about 21 seconds while speaking to reporters on Wednesday, walking away only to return 12 minutes later to say he was fine.

The 81-year-old Kentucky lawmaker began a regular scheduled press conference on Wednesday by talking about bipartisan cooperation on a massive defense funding bill only to freeze up for 21 seconds, standing still and staring straight ahead before his colleagues leaned in to ask if he was well.

McConnell, the minority leader, rejoined the press conference about 12 minutes later, saying, “I’m fine” and answering reporters’ questions on other topics.

McConnell, whose six-year term runs through 2026, had been sidelined from the Senate earlier this year after he tripped at a Washington dinner on March 8 and was admitted to a hospital for treatment of a concussion.

He also suffered a minor rib fracture and was later moved to a rehabilitation facility.
He returned to the Senate in April.