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Congressman's condition 'more difficult' than first thought

19 June 2017

A physician treating U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, who was seriously wounded in an attack on Republican lawmakers at a baseball field near Washington, said Friday that his vital signs were stable but that he was still in critical condition.

Sava added that Scalise "was as critical as you can be when he came in" after a single rifle shot traversed his body from his left hip through internal organs to the other hip as witnesses said he was fielding ground balls.

A shooting on Wednesday morning that targeted members of Congress was not enough to stop them from playing in the annual Congressional baseball game on Thursday night. The crowd chanted "USA!"

The shooter is identified as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois. Two lawmakers who were leaving practice when they encountered Hodgkinson before the shooting believe he was targeting Republicans. He had a history of posting angry messages against Trump and other Republicans on social media.

After his visit to the Congressman's bedside, who he called a "true friend and patriot", President Trump tweeted, "Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape - but he is a real fighter". The players all wore Louisiana State University hats at the game.

"The events of yesterday were devastating, and we know it will take time to heal", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said. And Thursday evening, the congressional baseball game went on as scheduled.

"This game is always an important moment for both parties to come together to support charity, build friendships, and celebrate our national pastime", he said.

In his first public comments since the shooting, Dr. Jack Sava of MedStar Washington Hospital Center said it's a "good possibility" that the Louisiana Republican will be able to return to work in his full capacity.

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During the game, a special tribute was held for Scalise, who is being treated at Medstar Washington Hospital Center.

The Democrats defeated the Republicans 11-2. A congressional women's softball team practiced Thursday morning in Alexandria but with a heavy police presence.

After Thursday's result, the all-time record in the game is 39 wins each, for both Democrats and Republicans, with one tie.

Votes were canceled in the House on Wednesday, but on Thursday they were taking place.

The two Congressional Baseball Team managers, Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas and Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, told reporters on Wednesday that lawmakers would still host the game as planned.

Almost 25,000 tickets were sold for the game and it was on track to raise more than $1 million, roughly double what it did previous year, organizers said.

The president says that because of the "tremendous pain and suffering he's now enduring. our country will perhaps become closer, more unified".

Congressman's condition 'more difficult' than first thought