Sen. Fetterman Hospitalized for Clinical Depression

Sen. Fetterman Hospitalized for Clinical Depression
Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) speaks at Belmont Water Treatment Center in Philadelphia on Feb. 3, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)
Beth Brelje

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) checked himself into a Washington-area hospital on Feb. 15, according to his chief of staff, Adam Jentleson.

“Last night, Senator John Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to receive treatment for clinical depression. While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks,” Jentleson said in a Feb. 16 statement.

“On Monday, John was evaluated by Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician of the United States Congress. Yesterday, Dr. Monahan recommended inpatient care at Walter Reed. John agreed, and he is receiving treatment on a voluntary basis.

“After examining John, the doctors at Walter Reed told us that John is getting the care he needs, and will soon be back to himself.”

The announcement comes a week after the Pennsylvania Democrat was discharged from George Washington University Hospital in Washington, where he was under observation for several days after experiencing lightheadedness on Feb. 8 during a Senate Democrat retreat.

During that visit, doctors ruled out a stroke and found no evidence of seizures.

That was a concern because the freshman Democrat senator suffered a stroke on the campaign trail the weekend before the May 2022 primary. The stroke was caused by a clot from his heart being in an atrial fibrillation rhythm for too long, he said in a statement at the time.

The stroke caused Fetterman to remain at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for more than a week and he didn’t immediately return to the campaign trail. That led to speculation about his fitness to serve in Congress, a concern that persists.

Once he did return to campaigning, Fetterman’s speech pattern changed. He was less confident and had halting speech. His campaign explained that he had auditory processing issues. He garbled words, dropped words from sentences, and needed closed captioning during a political debate. In recent days, Fetterman often works from prepared remarks.

This week, Fetterman voted to confirm three judicial nominees including Gina R. Méndez-Miró of Puerto Rico to be a U.S. District Judge for the District of Puerto Rico; Lindsay C. Jenkins of Illinois to be a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois; and Matthew L. Garcia of New Mexico to be a U.S. District Judge for the District of New Mexico.

He also voted to advance the nomination of Adrienne C. Nelson of Oregon to be a U.S. District Judge for the District of Oregon and Judge Cindy Chung to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, which covers all of Pennsylvania.

Beth Brelje is an award-winning Epoch Times reporter who covers U.S. politics, state news, and national issues. Ms. Brelje previously worked in radio for 20 years and after moving to print, worked at Pocono Record and Reading Eagle. Send her your story ideas: [email protected]
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