In a sad but predictable turn of events, disabled Pennsylvania senator John Fetterman (D) has checked himself into the hospital — again. Fetterman, who is still in recovery from a stroke, is suffering from severe depression.
He had only been out of the hospital for a few days when he checked himself into Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on Wednesday to receive treatment for depression.
Fetterman is in the hospital again
His chief of staff said he has become acutely depressed in recent weeks — a period corresponding with the start of his new job in Washington.
Fetterman entered the role under a cloud of doubt about his ability to perform it, and those doubts are likely to grow if his condition does not begin to improve.
This is Fetterman’s second hospital stay in as many weeks. He was hospitalized for three days last week for light-headedness, but doctors ruled out another stroke.
The senator had a stroke while campaigning in May that crippled his ability to communicate, leaving him reliant on computers to understand speech.
Despite glaring health issues that left him unable to speak coherently during his only televised debate, Fetterman pulled off a stunning upset in the election, defeating celebrity heart surgeon Dr. Oz.
53-year-old Fetterman’s continued health challenges have left many concerned about his fitness to serve, but he is receiving praise from left-leaning media and Democrats for showing vulnerability.
80-year-old president Biden, who has faced his own questions about fitness, applauded Fetterman as a role model.
“John, Gisele – Jill and I are thinking about your family today,” Biden’s account tweeted. “Millions of people struggle with depression every day, often in private. Getting the care you need is brave and important…..We’re grateful to you for leading by example.”
Fetterman’s wife Gisele also said she was “so proud” of Fetterman “for asking for help and getting the care he needs.”
Could be out for weeks
Fetterman’s shocking win in November handed Democrats a crucial pick-up, expanding their narrow Senate majority by one seat.
According to his staff, Fetterman’s latest hospital stay could force him to miss work for a few weeks.
Fetterman will “soon be back to himself,” his staff said – although, given his normal condition, that isn’t saying much.