Noticeably thinner and riding a scooter, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings was back in Washington this week after three months recovering from an infection in his left knee.
“I am excited to be back at work, and I am fueled by the outpouring of support I have received from my constituents and colleagues,” he said through a spokeswoman Thursday. “Now more than ever, we must defend our values and our democracy, and I am eager to continue this critical fight.”
Cummings (Md.), the senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had been missing from the day-to-day action on Capitol Hill even as his staff continued to pressure the GOP-controlled House for oversight on President Trump.
The 67-year-old was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital on Dec. 29 for the infection, caused by a ruptured cyst and gout, he said. He underwent two surgeries and intensive physical therapy. After time in an inpatient rehabilitation facility associated with Hopkins, he worked from his home in Baltimore, in a neighborhood he refers to as the “inner inner city .”
The congressman took meetings by phone and stayed in regular contact with his colleagues and staff, his office said. Reps. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) and Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) took care of committee duties.
In February, Cummings filed paperwork to seek a 13th term in Congress. Four Democrats and five Republicans are running in the 7th Congressional District, which includes much of the city of Baltimore and parts of Baltimore and Howard counties.
Last summer and fall, Cummings was away from Washington for about three months after surgery to repair a heart valve, followed by infection and complications.
Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.