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Rep. Steve Scalise In Fair Condition After Another Surgery For Infection

A bullet hole is seen on June 19 on a gate at the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park, the site where House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise was shot by gunman James Hodgkinson, in Alexandria, Va.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot in mid-June by a gunman targeting a congressional baseball practice, has returned to fair condition after receiving surgery for deep tissue infection.

In the days immediately after the shooting, Scalise was in critical condition; a bullet wound to his hip that caused "significant damage" to bones, organs and blood vessels. After several surgeries and weeks of progress, his condition was upgraded to fair and he was moved out of intensive care.

But Scalise was moved back into the intensive care unit of Medstar Washington Hospital Center last week because of an infection. He underwent one surgery on July 6 and was described by the hospital as being in "serious" condition.

On Thursday, the hospital said that Scalise, the No. 3 Republican in the House, was once again in "fair" condition after another surgery for deep tissue infection.

Scalise "will require careful monitoring to see if and when further interventions are necessary," the hospital says.

Scalise, 51, was the most seriously wounded victim of the June 14 attack on a baseball practice for Republican members of Congress. The gunman, James T. Hodgkinson, was killed in a gun fight with police.

The FBI says that, according to early investigations, Hodgkinson appeared to be acting alone and the attack has not targeted any individual in particular.

NPR's Miles Parks has written a profile of Scalise:

"A highly popular politician in Louisiana, Scalise, 51, represents the state's 1st Congressional District. He was elected in 2008 in a special election to replace Bobby Jindal, who had just been elected governor.

"Since then, Scalise has always gotten more than 65 percent of the vote in primaries, avoiding runoff elections, the New Orleans Times-Picayune has reported. In November, he garnered 75 percent of the votes in his district.

"The former systems engineer got his start in politics at Louisiana State University, where he was twice elected speaker of LSU's Student Government Association. He served as a member of Louisiana's state Legislature for 12 years before being elected to the U.S. House.

"The turning point in his career was a 2012 win that made him chairman of the influential Republican Study Group. He beat Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., who had been unanimously recommended by the group's founders prior to the election.

"After his victory, Scalise told reporters that his goal would be to pull Republican leadership 'as far to the right' as possible. ...

"Scalise wasn't an early endorser of Trump last year. Once he committed, however, he stayed that way even as negative press rained down on Trump in the months leading up to the election."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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