- The Washington Times - Friday, March 24, 2023

Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania is expected to make his long-awaited return to the Senate “soon,” his staff says.

Mr. Fetterman, who suffered a stroke last year, checked into the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Feb. 15 for treatment of depression.

“He’ll be back soon, at least over a week, but soon,” Fetterman spokesman Joe Calvello told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Mr. Fetterman won a closely watched Senate race against celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz. He was only six weeks into his tenure when he sought treatment.

The senator’s absence raised questions about his political future and the trajectory of the 51-49 Democratic majority in the Senate. It’s also sparked an outpouring of support from persons who have battled similar health problems and want to back him as he contends with those issues as a public figure.

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said this week that Mr. Fetterman deserves space to recover.

“He needs it, it’s fair, it’s right,” Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat, said. “There are other people in the Senate who have taken their time to recuperate, but I’m confident he’s going to come back and be an outstanding and fine senator.”

Mr. Fetterman’s office has posted photos of the senator receiving briefings from his chief of staff, Adam Jentleson, during his time at the hospital. Staff says he remains engaged on the issues.

Post-stroke depression is fairly common but treatable, experts say. 

Mr. Fetterman has also contended with auditory processing issues that require him to use a device that transcribes spoken words in real-time.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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