(VitalNews.org) – A recent poll, conducted by the Institute of Governmental Studies from California’s UC Berkeley, has found that two-thirds of voters registered in California no longer believe that 89-year-old Senator Dianne Feinstein is fit for office, following a lengthy absence from work due to illness.
However, 27 percent believed that she should continue to serve as Senator until the end of her term in January 2025, while 31 percent said that they had not reached a decision on the matter. Only 42 percent of voters thought she should step down with immediate effect.
Senator Feinstein was initially diagnosed as having contracted shingles; however, her office admitted that her illness was more severe than they had previously disclosed, as she had developed Ramsay-Hunt syndrome, which can cause facial paralysis, and encephalitis, which causes swelling on the brain.
Questions have also been raised about her memory and her mental acuity. She was asked by reporters how her colleagues had reacted to her lengthy absence from the Senate, during which time she had missed at least 93 votes, and her reply gave the impression that she was unaware that she had been absent from work at all, saying to the reporters “I haven’t been gone at all, I’ve been working here at the Senate. You really ought to follow the news.”
Her office has gone to great lengths to shield her from photographers. Her personal aide, Nancy Corinne Prowda, who is the eldest daughter of Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) has been instrumental in chasing away reporters who wish to interview Senator Feinstein and take pictures, while the Senate security staff have instituted a “closed press” rule for her arrivals and departures from the Senate, meaning that photography is not allowed.
Feinstein has served as a US Senator since 1992. Before that, she was Mayor of San Francisco between 1978 and 1988. She is currently the longest-serving Senator and also the longest-serving woman in the history of the US Senate.
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