In order to mitigate the fact that he hears other people's speech as incoherent, he uses closed captioning devices that display what is being said to him out loud so he can read along, reports Fox News. The Senate Sergeant at Arms reportedly installed a monitor on Fetterman's desk in the chamber of the US Senate, as well as provided him with a live-captioning tablet for committee hearings.
Fetterman was hospitalized on Wednesday after feeling lightheaded at a Democratic retreat, and is being monitored for signs of seizures. As of Friday morning, he is reportedly still being treated at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC.
The former mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania has also refused to speak with the press due to his inability to hear their questions in the echoey Senate hallways, reported the Times.
According to his chief of staff Adam Jentleson, "Before the stroke, he was the kind of person who loved the give-and-take with reporters.
"The challenge is to be able to get back to that place, given the current limitations," he told the publication.
Jentleson claimed that Fetterman was "forced" to forego making a full recovery in order to get back on the campaign trail after having a stroke, prompting questions on social media.
"What you’re supposed to do to recover from this is do as little as possible," the head staffer said. However, according to him, Fetterman apparently "was forced to do as much as possible — he had to get back to the campaign trail."
"It's hard to claw that back," Jentleson added.
"Fetterman 'was forced?' What?," asked The Spectator editor Stephen L. Miller on Twitter.
"The entire piece on the Times this AM was 'look how brave he is for struggling with his working conditions he and his campaign previously said would not happen," he added in a follow-up.
Political analyst Matt Couch also expressed his concern over the senator, whose campaign team, as well as his wife, have previously assured voters that his stroke would not impact his duties in office.
"John Fetterman still hospitalized, and according to the New York Times is hearing noises like the teacher in the Peanuts Cartoons is talking to him. Great hire Pennsylvania…," he wrote.
"We will pray for his recovery, but who didn't seen this coming?," Couch added.
As he stays in the hospital to be monitored, Fetterman's staff said in a statement that he is "in good spirits and talking with his staff and family." Several tests have ruled out a seizure or another stroke.
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