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Crime

Inside Rep. Steve Scalise’s Rocky Recovery After Baseball Shooting: ‘It’s a Long Process with Ups and Downs’

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A spokeswoman for House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise tells PEOPLE the politician from Louisiana remains in “good spirits” despite being readmitted to the ICU on Wednesday — three weeks after he was critically injured in a mass shooting at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia.

“The doctors from the beginning have said that this would be a long process with ups and downs, and this condition change is consistent with that,” says Scalise’s press secretary, Lauren Fine.

The 51-year-old congressman is listed as being in “serious condition” within the intensive care unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where he is receiving treatment for a possible infection.

Scalise was shot on June 14 while practicing for a baseball game with other Republican House members in a field in Alexandria. The shooter, James Hodgkinson, died after being shot by Scalise’s security detail.

Scalise was taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center where he has undergone several surgeries and blood transfusions. He was shot once in the left hip. Five others were hospitalized following the attack.

“Throughout this process, he has been surrounded by his family and friends who have come up from Louisiana to be with him,” Fine tells PEOPLE.

Several colleagues and fellow politicians have visited him since the shooting, including President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Fine says Scalise was also visited by House Majority Rep. Kevin McCarthy “and many other of his colleagues.”

The encouragement he has received from his friends, colleagues, and constituents has helped buoy his mood through what has been a challenging ordeal.

“The outpouring of love and support he has received has kept him in good spirits throughout his recovery,” Fine says. “Now, he is focused on taking the time he needs to heal.”

A tradition since 1909, the Congressional charity game features Democratic House members playing Republican House members. Democrats defeated the Republicans in this year’s game, which took place just one day after the shooting. In a gesture of bipartisanship, the Democrats gave their trophy to the Republicans so Scalise could display it in his office.