ABC’s Luis Martinez and Z. Byron Wolf report: While testifying at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the US Central Command, passed out at the witness table.
Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, was in the middle of praising Petraeus for his efforts in Afghanistan when the four star general appears to have briefly passed out. The C-Span camera in the room was focused on McCain at the time, a soft rumpling noise could be heard as McCain looked surprised. The feed then went to a high shot from the back of the room. Someone could be overheard quietly saying “Oh my God” as several staffers rushed to help him.
Despite the dire look of the situation, less than 30 seconds later, Petraeus walked away from the table escorted by staffer.
A few moments later Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, chairman of the Armed Services committee, told reporters that Patraeus was now eating and starting to feel better.
Less than 15 minutes later, Petraeus returned to the witness stand, greeted by applause from those assembled in the room. But then, Levin adjourned the hearing until tomorrow. Both Levin and McCain praised Petraeus for his service before adjourning for the day.
Petraeus, who was treated for prostate cancer in 2009, is a marathon runner who is said to pride himself on his physical fitness. He survived a shot in the chest in 1991 when a soldier accidentally discharged his rifle.
As the general left the Capitol today, he told reporters that he will be back to testify tomorrow when the hearing resumes.
"I'll eat breakfast tomorrow," he said.