Harry Reid Could Lose Eyesight After Exercise Injury

PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid delivers video message from home in Washington, D.C., after exercise injury.Senator Harry Reid's Office/YouTube
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid delivers video message from home in Washington, D.C., after exercise injury.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid may suffer permanent vision loss in his right eye after an injury sustained while exercising in his Nevada home last week, he said today.

During a radio interview with KNPR, the Democrat said he was going through his regular exercise routine, which he does three times a week and consists of “250 sit-ups,” “some yoga type stuff” and using a resistance band, which he noted is “the second strongest you can get.”

“The band broke, and it catapulted me backwards onto one side,” Reid said. “I crashed into a series of cabinets we have and, fortunately, it missed my temple by just a little tiny bit and it hit me on my right eye and it broke a number of bones around my eye and broke four ribs.”

Reid, 75, has lost vision in his right eye, he said, though doctors are "very hopeful" it will return. But “this isn’t anything that’s a slam dunk,” he noted.

Doctors have ordered Reid to work from home as he recovers from the accident, prompting him to miss the first week of the 114th Congress. He will also miss the Democratic retreat in Baltimore next week because doctors were worried about the almost hour-long drive from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore.

Asked what he thought of suggestions that the accident indicates he doesn’t have the physical stamina to lead Senate Democrats, Reid answered, “I don’t know how many people out there could sit down and do 250 push-ups or do the strengthening exercises, I did with those bands hundreds and hundreds of times, hundreds of times every week, three times a week. So no one has to question my physical ability.

“I’ve been set back a little bit, but I’m in the process of getting set up for the next go around,” he said.

Reid said the accident hasn’t influenced whether he will run for re-election in 2016.