Senator Susan Collins Shakes, Which Has Led Some to Focus on Her Health

Senator Susan Collins' unique speech pattern and shakiness has led some to wonder whether she has a health problem or if it's due to her age.


Feb. 29 2024, Published 10:18 a.m. ET

Susan Collins in the Senate on Feb. 7, 2024.
Source: Getty Images

After more than two decades in the Senate, Susan Collins has continued to work hard to prove that she's a relative moderate in a very Conservative caucus. The Republican senator from Maine has earned plenty of credit for the ways she occasionally bucks her party, even though she still votes with them the overwhelming majority of the time.

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Thanks in part to all of those years in the Senate, though, as well as some things about her health that have become more visible as she ages, some are wondering what the overall status of her health is. Here's what we know about Susan Collins' health.

Susan Collins at the funeral for Sandra Day O'Connor on Dec. 19, 2023.
Source: Getty Images
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Susan Collins' health doesn't get a lot of press attention.

There has been virtually no mention of concerns around Collins' health during her time in the Senate, even though she is now in her 70s. What we do know, however, is that there has long been speculation that Collins has spasmodic dysphonia, although she has never discussed having any sort of condition publicly. This condition could explain the warbles in Collins' voice, as the condition causes involuntary movements in the muscles around a person's vocal cords.

Given that she has never disclosed any sort of diagnosis, it's impossible to say for sure whether Collins has the condition or not. Throughout her career and especially when her vote is especially important, many have noticed that she has an unusual way of speaking, and have wondered if that's caused by some sort of neurological condition like spasmodic dysphonia.

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Why does Susan Collins shake?

Some have also noticed just by watching her movements that Collins shakes a decent amount when she walks and moves. Once again, it isn't clear exactly why this shaking might be happening or whether it's related to any condition that she has been diagnosed with.

While her speaking pattern is fairly unusual, it is much less uncommon to see people in their 70s who shake more than they did when they were younger.

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It seems entirely possible, then, that Collins' shaking can be explained entirely by her age and not by any other condition.

Whatever the reasons, though, these are issues that Collins has managed to keep a relatively tight lid on throughout her time in the Senate. She has encouraged the press and the public more generally to scrutinize her over her record.

Susan Collins has come under fire in recent years.

Although she works hard to maintain her moderate bona fides, Collins has come under fire in recent years in part for her vote to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, even though she has claimed to be pro-choice.

Of course, Kavanaugh was one of the Justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022, ending a constitutional right to abortion in the United States. Many predicted that would be the case when he joined the court despite Collins' assurances to the contrary.

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