Fetterman to stay in hospital 'for weeks' for depression treatment: senior aide

"A senior aide says it’s been difficult to distinguish the stroke from the depression ."

Joshua Young North Carolina

On Friday, one day after Pennsylvania Senator Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed medical center to "receive treatment for clinical depression," a senior aide told Dasha Burns of NBC News that he would need inpatient care for a "few weeks."

Burns posted on Twitter, "NEW: A senior aide to Senator Fetterman tells me he will likely be in inpatient care for clinical depression for "a few weeks."

"A senior aide says it’s been difficult to distinguish the stroke from the depression – saying it’s hard to tell at times if Fetterman is 'not hearing you, or is he sort of crippled by his depression and social anxiety,'" Burns tweeted.

She added, "A senior aide tells me both the staff and Fetterman himself were taken by surprise by the severe onset of depression. The aide also says this hasn't compromised his ability to do the job going forward, and he will be back to work once he has taken care of his mental health."

Fetterman suffered a stroke in May of last year but vowed not to exit the Senate race. He remained in the hospital during the primary and his wife delivered his victory remarks after he secured the nomination for the Democrat party. Recent news has indicated the senator is struggling with complications from his stroke and reportedly has had difficulty understanding people's voices and hearing. 

Last week, Fetterman was hospitalized at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC after feeling lightheaded during a Democratic retreat.

Fetterman's Chief of Staff, Adam Jentleson, released a statement Wednesday that said, "While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks" and that he was admitted after an evaluation by Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress.

According to 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."

In November, Fetterman addressed some of his health concerns and said "I'm absolutely fit to serve" while talking to CBS News' Robert Costa.

The interview aired a week before the midterm elections, which would see Fetterman win out over GOP rival Doctor Mehmet Oz

"Some voters we've spoken to in recent days say they still have some doubts about your health," Costa said. "What would you say to them to convince them otherwise?"

"I would say we have shown more and shared more kinds of medical evaluation," Fetterman replied, "more than virtually anyone unless you're running for the president."

"I've been campaigning all across Pennsylvania," he continued, "been in front of thousands and thousands of people, and we've been trying to be very very transparent."

"I'm sitting within a chair with you right now to have this conversation," he told Costa, "and really just address the fact that I'm absolutely fit to serve."


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