Sen. John Fetterman (D., Pa.) checked himself into a hospital Wednesday for "severe" clinical depression, an aide said Thursday.
According to Fetterman’s chief of staff, Adam Jentleson, the freshman Democrat entered Walter Reed National Health Center at the recommendation of Congress’s attending physician. The doctor evaluated Fetterman after he was released from the hospital for lightheadedness.
Jentleson said the senator has experienced depression "off and on" throughout his life, but that it has become severe "in recent weeks." Jentleson claims that doctors reassured Fetterman that he "will soon be back to himself."
The medical scare is the latest evidence that Fetterman’s health is far worse off than he claimed following his near-fatal stroke on the campaign trail last year. The New York Times reported last week that Fetterman faces "serious mental health challenges" as a result of his stroke. He is unable to complete rudimentary tasks expected of his job, according to the newspaper. He also privately worries that he may have suffered permanent damage by rushing back too quickly to the campaign trail after his stroke, which left him unable to fully process sound.
Fetterman and his allies insisted during the campaign that he was fine, and would be back to full health by the beginning of his Senate stint.
In a July interview, Fetterman claimed he was on the path to a full recovery and was "100 percent able to run fully." His campaign released a note from his personal doctor—also a campaign donor—that said Fetterman should have "no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office."
In a statement Thursday, Fetterman’s wife Gisele said she was "proud" of Fetterman "for asking for help and getting the care he needs."
During the campaign, Gisele Fetterman criticized reporters who questioned her husband’s recovery status. She called for "consequences" for an NBC News reporter who grilled Fetterman about his health, saying that the interview was "appalling to the entire disability community."