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Feinstein Is in the Hospital. Here's Why.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has been hospitalized in San Francisco after being diagnosed with shingles.

"I was diagnosed over the February recess with a case of shingles. I have been hospitalized and am receiving treatment in San Francisco," the lawmaker’s office said. "I hope to return to the Senate later this month." 


The 89-year-old lawmaker—the oldest member of the Senate—said she expects to make a “full recovery.”

Her announcement comes after she missed several roll call votes this week and was absent for the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General Merrick Garland. Previously, her office said she was “dealing with a health issue,” but had declined to elaborate. 

Last month, Feinstein, who turns 90 in June, announced she will not seek re-election in 2024 but said she “intend[s] to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends.” 

Democrats, who hold a slim majority in the upper chamber, have also been navigating the temporary absence of Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, who checked himself into a hospital last month for clinical depression. His colleagues have been supportive of giving Fetterman as much time as he needs to recover. 


“We have gone through periods of time since I’ve been in the Senate where members have been [gone] for lengthy periods of time for good reasons, health reasons. I wouldn’t wish that kind of pressure on anybody. Let him get well, let his family feel he’s getting the best care. Those are the highest priorities,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). “I wish that his critics would show a little bit of humanity.”

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