The touching moment is the latest show of unity following the shooting at the Republican Congressional baseball practice, which wounded five people included House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File).
“We are encouraged by improvement in his condition in the last 36 hours”, Jack Sava of MedStar Washington Hospital Center told reporters at a news conference.
Scalise, who underwent a third surgery Thursday, is listed in critical condition after being shot through the hip.
On Wednesday, he underwent immediate surgery after the incident and then an additional procedure to stop bleeding.
President Donald Trump visited Scalise at the hospital Wednesday night and later said in a speech, “He’s a great fighter and he’s going to be OK, we hope”.
Scalise has received multiple blood transfusions, which can affect clotting, something doctors will monitor closely.
Scalise was wounded when a gunman opened fire at a GOP lawmaker baseball practice Wednesday morning. The fact that his injuries brought him close to death was not widely known initially. Nonetheless, said Sava, “We fully expect him to be able to walk” and “hopefully run”.
Mika will remain in the intensive care unit through the weekend at least, the family said.
Sava estimates there are hundreds of bullet fragments in Scalise’s pelvis and says doctors don’t intend to try to remove them all, as that could cause more harm than good.
Still, finger-pointing lingered as some on each side suggested the other had contributed more to the disparaging broadsides they’ve increasingly aimed at each other. “The Scalise family greatly appreciates the outpouring of thoughts and prayers”, the hospital wrote, “on behalf of the Scalise family”.
The gunman, identified by officials as James Hodgkinson, died after the shootout.
It emerged Hodgkinson had a social media page filled with criticism of Republicans and the Trump administration.
“It’s been much more hard than people even thought at the time”, Trump said.
“So we all owe Steve a big, big thank you”, Trump added.
Aides to Ryan, R-Wis., confirmed the speaker had visited Scalise at the hospital but declined to provide details of the encounter.
A huge ovation came from the crowd, which swelled to a record 24,959, when Special Agent David Bailey, one of the Capitol Police officers injured in the attack on Republicans at their ball practice in Virginia, threw out the first pitch.
The American Hospital Association defines “critical” condition as: “Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits”.