Thursday, November 20, 2008

Attorney general collapses

UPDATE 8:15 A.M. FRIDAY: The Associated Press reports good news:
Attorney General Michael Mukasey was conscious and alert early Friday -- and took a get-well call from President Bush -- just hours after he collapsed during a speech to a black-tie dinner.
White House press secretary Dana Perino sent out word to reporters that Bush telephoned his attorney general just before 7 a.m. EST Friday and said that Mukasey "sounded well and is getting excellent care." . . .
Justice spokesman Peter Carr said Mukasey did not transfer his power to Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip.
"The attorney general is conscious, conversant and alert," Carr said after Mukasey was hospitalized. "His vital statistics are strong and he is in good spirits." . . .
Mukasey's wife, Susan, was with him at the hospital.
Attorney General Michael Mukasey collapsed while giving a speech to the Federalist Society and was rushed to a hospital, Philip Klein reports. Just from a brief description of the symptoms -- slurred words then a sudden collapse -- it sounds like a stroke.

Mukasey is 67, and was described as "trembling" before he collapsed.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has a round-up, including the text of Mukasey's prepared remarks.

UPDATE II: Described the symptoms to my wife, who used to work in health care, and she says, "Yeah, sounds like a stroke." Witnesses reportedly shared the same apprehension.

UPDATE III: Reuters:
Spokesman Peter Carr said Mukasey, 67, was rushed to George Washington University Medical Center in Washington. He had no details on Mukasey's condition.
GWU is one of the finest hospitals in the country. Reagan was rushed to GWU after he was shot in 1981.

UPDATE IV: Latest AP confirms Phil's source:
Mukasey was delivering a speech to the Federalist Society at a Washington hotel when "he just started shaking and he collapsed," said Associate Attorney General Kevin O'Connor. "They're very concerned."
Mukasey was 15 to 20 minutes into his speech about the Bush administration's successes in combatting terrorism when he began slurring his words. He collapsed and lost consciousness, said O'Conner, the department's No. 3 official.
FBI agents on the scene apparently rendered first aid, and one source tells AP Mukasey appeared to be speaking as he was carried out. ABC News seems to have corroborated this:
A lawyer in the room said Mukasey "started struggling with [his] speech, slurring" just before he collapsed. A high-level source who was near Mukasey at the scene told ABC News he appeared "responsive" when he left the hotel on a stretcher.
This encourages hope of recovery.

UPDATE V: More detail from Bloomberg:
Members of the audience at his speech, including former Attorney General John Ashcroft, formed a human wall so people could not view Mukasey as he was taken away. A member of the audience offered a prayer for Mukasey from the lectern and told everyone to go home.
Will continue updating as the story develops. Pretty soon, we should get a statement from the hospital, or from Mukasey's staff, about his condition.

UPDATE VI: K-Lo was there:
Midway through [his speech] he seemed rattled by a heckler who called him a "tyrant."

Freaking disruptive scum. But K-Lo also says quick response by those on the scene may have helped save Mukasey.

UPDATE VII: More encouraging news:

Mr. Mukasey appeared to be somewhat alert as he was carried on a stretcher by District of Columbia fire department medics. He was heard to say he thought he had fainted. A medic could be heard to tell the attorney general "just relax."

Conscious + talking = good

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