Donald Trump

Congressman Scalise Upgraded to Serious Condition, Showing Improvement: Hospital

U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise's condition has been upgraded from critical to serious as his health continues to show improvement, according to a statement from the MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Scalise, 51, had another surgery on Saturday and "he is more responsive and is speaking with his loved ones," a statement posted to his Twitter account said.

Scalise was in dire condition when he was shot at the Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday. Doctors said his prognosis was positive on Friday.

"I think that an excellent recovery is a good possibility," Dr. Jack Sava, director of trauma at MedStar Washington Hospital Center said at a news conference Friday afternoon. 

Scalise was sedated Friday, but the husband and father of two has been able to respond to his doctors and family. 

"He clearly knows they're there and appreciates their presence," Sava said. 

Scalise suffered a rifle wound in his left hip that shattered bones, tore organs and caused severe bleeding. Hundreds of bullet fragments remain in his body. 

Lobbyist Matt Mika was shot multiple times and remains hospitalized. Also hurt but released from hospitals were two Capitol Police officers, David Bailey and Crystal Griner, and House GOP aide Zack Barth.

President Donald Trump said Friday that Steve Scalise "took a bullet for all of us."

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The president said that because of the “tremendous pain and suffering he’s now enduring ... our country will perhaps become closer, more unified.” The president made his comments as he spoke in Miami to announce a new policy on Cuba.

Trump added that Scalise is "having a hard time, far worse than anybody thought" following the shooting Wednesday. 

Scalise has undergone multiple surgeries and he is expected to need more surgeries.

Investigators studying Wednesday's attack at a suburban Virginia park said Thursday that shooter James Hodgkinson had obtained his rifle and handgun from licensed firearms dealers. Capitol Police said they had "no evidence to suggest that the purchases were not lawful." 

Hodgkinson, a Belleville, Illinois, home inspector who had been living out of his van near the park, had a social media page filled with criticism of Republicans and the Trump administration. He died after officers in Scalise's security detail and local police fired at him. 

As congressional Republicans and Democrats joined Thursday night in their annual baseball game, played this year in Scalise's honor, word came from the hospital that he remained in critical condition, but had "improved in the last 24 hours." 

Colleagues who visited Scalise, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, sounded generally upbeat, but spoke more in terms of hopes than the confident predictions of the immediate aftermath a day earlier. 

Democrat Cedric Richmond, a fellow Louisiana congressman, said as many others did that Scalise is a fighter. "I'm prayerful he will pull through, and I hope he does," he said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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