Sen. Dianne Feinstein Hospitalized With Shingles

Sen. Dianne Feinstein Hospitalized With Shingles
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) attends a Senate hearing in Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, on June 16, 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/POOL)
Bill Pan

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the oldest member of the Senate, has been admitted to a California hospital after contracting shingles.

In a statement released to media Thursday, the 89-year-old Senator said she will hopefully recover and go back to work later this month.

“I was diagnosed over the February recess with a case of the shingles,” Feinstein said. “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.”

Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is a disease that triggers a painful skin rash, according to the National Institute of Health. It is caused by the same virus as chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus.

The risk of developing shingles increases with age as a result of a weakened immune system. Shingles typically lasts three to five weeks and is not life-threatening, although it can be fatal to elderly people with compromised immune systems.

Feinstein, who was first elected to the Senate in 1992, said in February that she will not seek re-election in 2024.

In a statement declaring the decision, Feinstein said she will instead focus her energy in her last two years in Congress on pushing gun control measures and making sure California gets its fair share of federal funding.

“Even with a divided Congress, we can still pass bills that will improve lives. Each of us was sent here to solve problems. That’s what I’ve done for the last 30 years, and that’s what I plan to do for the next two years,” she said. “My thanks to the people of California for allowing me to serve them.”

Three California Democrats—Reps. Katie Porter, Adam Schiff, and Barbara Lee—have announced bids to fill the vacancy she will leave.

Porter, a 49-year-old single mother, became a congresswoman in 2019. Prior to her political career, she worked as a law professor at University of California at Irwine specializing in consumer protection.

Lee, 76, was elected to the state Legislature in 1990 and to Congress in 1998. She is best known for casting the sole “Nay” vote against the joint resolution that authorized President George W. Bush to use military force after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Meanwhile, Schiff gained prominence among Democrats as the chief prosecutor in President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, which ended with an acquittal. He was also a member of the now-dissolved congressional committee that conducted an 18-month investigation of the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Feinstein has yet to endorse any of the three.

Bill Pan is an Epoch Times reporter covering education issues and New York news.
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