Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California was hospitalized in recent days with shingles and is now being treated in her hometown of San Francisco, her office announced Thursday.
Feinstein missed a key vote Wednesday when the Senate voted 50 to 46 to block a Biden administration rule allowing retirement fund managers to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in investment decisions. She has also missed a pair of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.
‘I was diagnosed over the February recess with a case of the shingles. I have been hospitalized and am receiving treatment in San Francisco and expect to make a full recovery. I hope to return to the Senate later this month,’ she said through her spokesman, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The news of Feinstein’s hospitalization comes weeks after it was announced she would be ending her long and consequential political career.
There was some initial confusion when Feinstein told reporters she was unaware that her staff had sent out a statement making the announcement.
She had stepped back from her critical role chairing the Judiciary Committee following multiple reports that she had trouble recalling details about staff and legislation.
Some Democrats also griped at her handling of the confirmation hearing of now Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Shingles is a virus that can lead to powerful rashes and scabs. It typically occurs when the long-dormant virus that causes chickenpox reemerges years later. It is not considered life-threatening.
She was first elected in 1992 and is now the oldest serving female senator.
Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania also missed votes this week as he continues treatment for clinical depression at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Their absence pointed to the fragility of the Democrats’ narrow 51-49 Senate majority (which includes three independents who caucus with the party).
Although she relinquished her chair on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats hold only an 11-10 majority on that panel, where the minority can slow nominations when membership is evenly divided.