February 17 – On Wednesday night freshman Senator John Fetterman from Pennsylvania checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for clinical depression.
Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in early May this year, went on to win the US Senate seat for Pennsylvania. Since then, he has kept a relatively low profile.
Last weekend while at a Democratic retreat, he became light headed and was taken to the hospital where tests were done. Officials said he did not suffer a second stroke.
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “Depression after a stroke is not uncommon. The fact that he cannot communicate very effectively, you can only imagine the frustration that causes and they say it gets worse with intense situations. So honestly, any other person after a stroke, having his kind of symptoms, having his kind of issues, there’s many jobs they would not be allowed to do. I think being Senator should have maybe been one of them. Even communication with his family, it’s causing all kinds of problems. The fact that doctors actually came out and said he was fit or he was going to be fit, I think there’s a little bit of maybe malpractice going on there because there’s no way you wouldn’t have been able to predict some of this stuff. And we still haven’t heard anything about his cardiomyopathy that we know he’s being treated for but we’ve yet to get a good medical evaluation and they never make his doctors available for any kind of scrutiny.”
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7 FM said, “You go back to October when that doctor gave him a clean bill of health. You have to wonder what the agenda was pushing Fetterman across the finish line here. Of course our prayers are with the Senator and a rapid recovery, but with a pacemaker and with a de-fib built into his pacemaker, the things that he is facing right now, he never should have had to face in the first place, to be honest with you.”
Attorney Clint Barkdoll pointed out, “We know he and his campaign were less than forthcoming to be charitable about that stroke in May. They kind of strung the public along for months all summer, indicating that he was getting better. Everyone saw him in that debate in late October, clearly had problems. Going back to last week, all the information we have is from press releases from his office and to me, that’s troubling, and this is why I don’t think we’re being told the whole story.”
When he was released from George Washington Hospital last week, Fetterman’s office concentrated on the stroke, but never mentioned heart health or mental health.
Barkdoll said, “There’s something suspicious to me. The announcement yesterday said he’s been really having severe depression the past few weeks. Why wasn’t that part of last week’s hospitalization report that they released? There’s something that’s not quite right to me here.”
The announcement also seemed rather careful to say the doctor from the Senate examined him and recommended that he do in-patient treatment for depression.
Barkdoll wondered, “Was that a discussion that hey, if you don’t go admit yourself, we’re going to force you to be admitted. Might that have been the kind of conversation that happened between the doctor and the patient?”
“I think it’s entirely possible,” Jansen confirmed. “Because when someone is so severely depressed you’re worried about them harming themselves, you don’t really risk that. Any doctor with credibility would not really risk that. So you do have to wonder. They kept stressing this was voluntary, but it does beg that question.”
Fetterman has been a Senator for six weeks and he has already missed one third of the votes.
Barkdoll said, “There’s where I think this does become an issue of public concern. We all hope and pray that he’s okay and if he is suffering from depression, this is a very serious situation. Unfortunately there is still a lot of stigma around mental health and I’m glad that he’s being open about it if that is what’s going on. Many cases, they get treatment, both medicine and counseling, and they’re going to fine, but you need a Senator that’s on the floor voting, that’s able to vigorously participate mentally and physically in what is required of a Senator. Does this get to a point where Pennsylvanians say wait a minute, we’re not really being adequately represented here.”
Ryan said, “I go back to this doctor. You know he has depression baked in there. Then you put a stroke, then you put the medical parts of his world together, then you put the rigors of being in public the way he was. There are a lot more questions that this doctor really needs to answer to.”
The full medical records were never actually released – it was only a note from the doctor.
Barkdoll said, “All we’re getting is press releases. There have been no statements from Fetterman himself. No interviews. To me, I think naturally we all are wondering is there something more going on here that we’re not being told? I hope I’m wrong about that, but there’s an awful lot of smoke here around what’s been going on the last couple of weeks with him.”
Ryan added, “I’d like to know when the country’s going to get sick and tired of being lied to, quite frankly, or being hidden from the truth. What’s going on with balloons? What’s going on with the train? What’s going on with the southern border? What’s going on with education? What’s going on with education? What’s going on with the FBI? What the hell is going on in this country under the watchful eye of his pudding in chief? It all starts from the top. The fish rots from the head.”