Senator Diane Feinstein made headlines when she returned to the Senate this week, defying calls for her to resign. According to Rolling Stone magazine, her declining health has caused her staff to follow her everywhere she goes inside the Capitol, without her even realizing it. Her office staff also reportedly follow her out of fear of what reporters might say about her deteriorating health and advanced age. The senator has been away from Washington for several months due to a shingles infection, but reports suggest her mental acuity has also come under scrutiny in recent years.
Insiders reported that shortly before being hospitalized in March, Feinstein appeared confused. People familiar with the matter told Rolling Stone that her staff had felt for a few years that she needed to be accompanied at all times around the Capitol. The system apparently developed without Feinstein’s knowledge, according to a former staffer who was fired for performance issues.
Democratic colleagues, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have recently called for Feinstein to resign immediately. The 89-year-old senator has not responded to these calls but has previously stated that she plans to retire at the end of 2024. Feinstein is the longest-serving female senator, having held the seat for over 30 years and leaving an indelible mark on American politics. She led efforts to ban assault weapons and investigate the CIA’s detainment plans.
Feinstein’s office did not respond to a request for comment.