Democrat John Fetterman Hospitalized in DC

Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman / Getty Images
February 9, 2023

Pennsylvania senator John Fetterman, who suffered a stroke during his campaign for office last year, was rushed to a Washington, D.C., hospital on Wednesday after falling ill at the Senate Democratic retreat.

Fetterman's office said late Wednesday that there was no "evidence of a new stroke," but that the freshman senator would be kept overnight so doctors could run more tests. The spokesman says he left the Senate Democratic retreat after "feeling lightheaded" and was brought to the hospital by his staff.

Questions over Fetterman's health dominated his election contest, with Fetterman's inability to communicate leading to calls for him to drop out of the race. He suffered a stroke right before the Democratic primary, and his campaign was not forthcoming about the severity of his condition until after voters picked him as their nominee.

In late October, Fetterman released a "medical report" from his personal physician, Clifford Chen, who gave the Democrat a clean bill of health, and said he was fit to serve in the Senate. That assessment came under scrutiny after the Washington Free Beacon reported Chen was a Fetterman campaign donor.

Many medical professionals expressed concern that Fetterman would be challenged by the demands of being a senator. The Senate has had to make logistical changes to make the legislative body accessible for Fetterman, who is still unable to understand what people are saying to him and needs live closed captioning to participate in conversation.

Fetterman's office says it "will provide more information" about his health when it is available.