House Majority Whip Steve Scalise gave his first media appearance since he was shot in June by a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter at the Congressional Baseball game this past summer.
Addressing the people of his Louisiana district in a pre-recorded message, Scalise expressed regret that he couldn’t yet return to his home state. “I wish I could be there in person but I’m still recovering at a rehabilitation hospital and I can tell you, I cannot wait til the day that I can get back home,” Scalise is still in the inpatient rehab in Washington D.C. after being discharged from Medstar Washington Hospital Center this past July.
The pre-recorded message was played for the Louisiana Family Forum’s annual legislative awards gala where the organization honored Scalia with its “Gladiator Award.” The conservative event also included other high-profile politicians.
The Louisiana Republican was targeted in June when he was shot in the hip by a gunman targeting the GOP congressional baseball practice in Alexandra, Virginia. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition where he survived the attack only after weeks of intensive care.
Senator Rand Paul who happened to be practicing with Scalise at that particular time said that the shooting could have been a massacre had it not been for Capitol Hill Police who saved their lives.
In a statement after the attack, Sen. Paul said, “The Capitol Hill police, from my understanding, is incredibly brave and probably saved the lives of everybody there. Had they not been there, it would have been a massacre because there’s no escaping a guy who has several hundred bullets. We had no weapons and no place to hide, so if he had advanced on the rest of us, there would have been no chance. The only chance we had was that the shots were returned by the Capitol Hill police.”
Scalise, was hoping to return to work when congress reconvenes in September after the summer recess, but has not yet been given clearance to do so from his doctors. Spokesperson for Scalise, Lauren Fine, said that the lawmaker has been focusing on the recovery “and will be looking forward to returning to the Capitol as soon as his doctors allow.” She also noted that “within the last couple weeks, he [Scalise] recorded a similar audio message for a Louisiana Restaurant Association event he also could not attend.” Adding, “He wanted to ensure he was honoring his commitments back home while he still focusing on his recovery at an in-patient rehabilitation facility.”
Scalise has been in constant contact with congressional leadership and individual members from the hospital as he attempts to continue serving as the Republican Whip.