Pennsylvania Democrat Sen. John Fetterman, who recently entered Walter Reed Medical Center for clinical depression, had his first photos released on Monday, prompting several responses from observers. Some dismissed the photos as “staged,” while others noticed that Fetterman seemed gaunt, hollow, and frail despite his 6′ 9″ frame.
Fetterman’s chief of staff, Adam Jentleson, posted several photos of the Pennsylvania Democrat on Twitter and noted that he was well on his way to recovery and was laser-focused on Pennsylvania. Fetterman’s team spent the 2022 election season insisting that their candidate was fit to serve in the Senate and did not have any remaining health issues after suffering a major stroke in May.
Productive morning with Senator Fetterman at Walter Reed discussing the rail safety legislation, Farm Bill and other Senate business. John is well on his way to recovery and wanted me to say how grateful he is for all the well wishes. He’s laser focused on PA & will be back soon. pic.twitter.com/143uAhoQRx
— Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson) March 6, 2023
But last month, he was rushed to the hospital after feeling lightheaded, although his team insists he did not have another stroke. “He is in good spirits and talking with his staff and family. We will provide more information when we have it,” his communications director, Joe Calvello, said at the time. Fetterman was released after a couple of days but checked himself back into Walter Reed on the advice of the congressional physician with the chief complaint of clinical depression in February.
Jentleson noted in a statement that Fetterman was evaluated by Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress, and recommended inpatient care at Walter Reed. John agreed and is receiving treatment on a voluntary basis.
Fetterman’s wife, Gisele, said she was so proud of him for asking for help.
She tweeted, “After what he’s been through in the past year, there’s probably no one who wanted to talk about his own health less than John. I’m so proud of him for asking for help and getting the care he needs. This is a difficult time for our family, so please respect our privacy.”
In a statement, Fetterman’s chief of staff noted that doctors at Walter Reed told them that John is getting the care he needs and will soon be back to himself. He also stated that Fetterman has experienced depression off and on over the course of his life, but the issue only became severe in recent weeks. A Fetterman advisor admitted after his victory in November that Fetterman would not be able to perform his job as normal.
The response on social media was mixed. Some doubted the authenticity of the photos and said that they were just a “proof of life” staged photo op, while others sympathized with Fetterman’s situation and wished him a speedy recovery. Some even questioned why he was allowed to continue working while in treatment, while others applauded him for seeking help for his mental health issues.
Sources: ConservativeBrief, TheWashingtonPost, CNN, BreitbartNews