The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Sen. Feinstein says she’s home from hospital and recovering from shingles

Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 13, 2022. (Eric Lee/Bloomberg)
2 min

California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein — the oldest member of Congress — said Tuesday that she has returned home from the hospital where she was being treated for shingles.

“I want to thank everyone for the well wishes and the hospital staff for providing excellent care,” she tweeted. “I’m recovering at home now while I continue receiving treatment and look forward to returning to the Senate as soon as possible.”

Feinstein, who announced last month that she would not seek reelection in 2024, said in a statement last week that she had sought treatment at a San Francisco hospital. Since her diagnosis during recess, Feinstein, 89, was not present for several roll call votes and a high-profile Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Shingles, which is not life-threatening, is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. About 1 in 3 Americans will get shingles during their lifetime.

In recent years, Feinstein, who was first elected in 1992, has faced questions about her ability to represent Californians as colleagues have recounted concerns about her mental acuity. Her husband, the financier and Democratic megadonor Richard C. Blum, died after a long battle with cancer last year.

Feinstein, widely considered a Democratic trailblazer, has been active in California politics for decades; she served as San Francisco mayor and president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She became the state’s first female senator and the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Ahead of her current term ending in 2024, Feinstein said she would not run again, formalizing what is expected to be a fractious race, as several Democratic lawmakers, including Reps. Katie Porter, Adam B. Schiff and Barbara Lee have announced their bids for the Senate seat.