(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. John Fetterman recently checked into the Walter Reed National Military Center due to a severe bout of clinical depression, his office confirmed in a statement on Thursday.
“While John has experienced depression on and off throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks,” the statement read.
It’s the second hospitalization for Fetterman in as many weeks following a two-day stay for testing after he left a Democratic retreat early due to lightheadedness. He was released on Feb. 10 after doctors said he showed no signs of stroke or seizure.
Fetterman, the former lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, was elected to federal office in November – just five months after suffering a massive stroke that kept him hospitalized for weeks. He’s since struggled with speech and language processing deficits that have required special accommodations on the Senate floor.
“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,” said Gisele Fetterman, the senator’s wife, in a statement posted to Twitter. “I’m so proud of him for asking for help and getting the care he needs.”
According to the office’s statement, physicians at Walter Reed recommended Fetterman receive inpatient care and anticipate “he will soon be back to himself.”
Fetterman’s November win against Dr. Mehmet Oz swung a red seat to blue in the Senate. He succeeded former Sen. Pat Toomey, who chose not to seek reelection. Fifty-one senators are in the caucus of Democrats, including three unaffiliated; there are 49 Republicans.