(StraightNews.org) — Democratic Senator John Fetterman has returned to Capitol Hill following a lengthy absence caused by ill health. Fetterman suffered a stroke last year and has been hospitalized for clinical depression since February. However, the Pennsylvania Congressman prompted concern as he chaired the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research. He appeared to struggle with his opening remarks, provoking expressions of bewilderment on social media.
Twitter users described his performance as “frightening,” with one comment stating, “I’ve heard second graders with better reading abilities than this.” Another said, “John Fetterman is chairing a senate subcommittee, and this was his opening statement. Good lord. This dude is not remotely well or able to do this job. Embarrassing for Pennsylvania.”
The Congressman speaks frankly and openly about his depression. Soon after receiving treatment for the illness at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center – where he stayed for six weeks – he was interviewed by People Magazine and said he did not initially believe the condition was severe enough for him to seek help. However, his Senate campaign against Republican challenger Mehmet Oz increased his symptoms, prompting him to seek therapy.
He told the magazine that his fiery debate with Oz in October 2022 was a catalyst as he felt his performance was disastrous. He was recovering from a stroke at the time and found communicating a challenge.
After his electoral success, his wife Gisele said, “After he won, you expect someone to be at their highest and really happy and celebratory. And after winning, he seemed to be at the lowest. That was, for me, the moment of concern.”
Clinical depression is a severe form of mental health illness that causes symptoms of persistent sadness and despair. It is one of the most common mental illnesses and affects 21 million people in the US every year. Around 3.7 million Americans aged 12-17 suffer from the condition, and it is a leading cause of suicide.
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