Friday, September 18, 2020
Friday, September 18, 2020

Minnesota governor collapses while addressing legislators
M

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(Reuters) – Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton collapsed on Monday while delivering his state-of-the-state address to legislators in St. Paul, but aides said afterward that Dayton quickly recovered from what they described as a fainting spell and returned home.

A video clip from official statehouse footage posted on YouTube showed the 69-year-old, silver-haired governor pausing to take a sip of water, then slurring his words as he tried to resume his address before slumping at the lectern.

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He appeared to hit his forehead on the lectern as he lost his footing and aides rushed to grab him. Gasps rose from the assembly hall and someone was heard saying, “Get him to the ground, get him to the ground, please.”

Lawmakers immediately adjourned the session while Dayton, a member of the Democratic-affiliated Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, was attended to.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune said Dayton appeared to be seated upright and aware some moments afterward.

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The episode came about 40 minutes into Dayton’s speech to a joint session of the state legislature, according to a statement released by his chief of staff, Scott Kendall.

“He quickly recovered, walked out of the Capitol and turned home,” Kendall said, adding that emergency medical technicians met Dayton at his home and performed a “routine check” on him there.

“He is now spending time with his son and grandson” and would present his 2017 budget to legislators on Tuesday morning as planned.

Gubernatorial spokesman Sam Fettig said the governor, now midway through his second four-year term, did not go to a hospital.

Fettig declined to say what might have caused the governor’s collapse but said he believed Dayton to be otherwise in good health.

Dayton’s son, Eric, posted a separate message on Twitter saying, “I’m with my dad now and he’s doing great. Thank you all for your kind well-wishes and words of concern.”

Dayton was briefly hospitalized about a year ago after fainting while speaking during an event in the St. Paul suburb of Woodbury. Aides said then that he was treated for dehydration before being released.

Dayton served six years at a U.S. senator from Minnesota before he was elected to his first term as governor in 2010.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles and Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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