Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Democrat who was shot at close range earlier this year, is now able to initiate conversation but still has "a long way to go," said her friend, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
"You can have conversations with her," Wasserman Schultz said Thursday on CBS's Early Show.
Giffords will attend a retirement ceremony for her husband, astronaut and U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Kelly in her second trip to Washington since she was shot in Arizona in January. As for whether she will be able to return to Capitol Hill, Wasserman Schultz said “we’re still 10 months from the shooting.”
“She’s got a long way to go, she’s working very hard,” the Florida congresswoman said. “… At this point they’re still focused on trying to have her make a full recovery.” Giffords is not expected to go to Capitol Hill or conduct any congressional business on her visit.
Kelly, a veteran of four space shuttle missions, announced in June that he will retire from the Navy and from NASA to spend more time with his wife during her recovery. His retirement ceremony, administered by Vice President Joe Biden, will take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.