John Fetterman's wife is calling for professional repercussions against a young female reporter who questioned her husband about his recovery from a near-fatal stroke.
Gisele Fetterman on Friday urged "consequences" for an NBC News reporter who asked her husband questions about his recovery from the stroke. The reporter, Dasha Burns, quizzed Fetterman about his reliance on closed captioning to conduct interviews and his refusal to release medical records related to the May 13 stroke. Burns also reported that it "wasn't clear [Fetterman] was understanding" the part of their conversation when he didn't have the aid of a captioning device.
The pointed questions left Gisele Fetterman in a "rage," she said Friday. Fetterman accused Burns of doing a "disservice" to journalism for the "appalling" report. "It was appalling to the entire disability community and I think to journalism," Fetterman said.
Gisele Fetterman's attack comes as John Fetterman's lead over Republican Mehmet Oz has narrowed considerably amid attacks on his positions on criminal justice reform and questions about his health. Burns is far from the only journalist to question John Fetterman's health—the Washington Post editorial board said Fetterman had "squandered" his credibility over inconsistent statements about his recovery. Gisele Fetterman also criticized that editorial, claiming the liberal newspaper published it for "clicks."
Democrats have also expressed concerns, albeit largely in private, that Fetterman has downplayed his health struggles. The concerns prompted some Democratic Party officials to explore the possibility of removing Fetterman from the ballot over the summer, according to reports.
Gisele Fetterman's latest attack marks a pattern of her rushing in to deflect scrutiny from her husband, who since his stroke has relied on his wife to take on a larger campaign role. She was spotted at a campaign event last month rushing to pull Fetterman away from a person asking when he would debate Oz. She appears frequently alongside him in television interviews. In one of John Fetterman's first campaign events after his stroke, Gisele stood next to the candidate at his podium, appearing to pass him notes during his speech.
Gisele Fetterman has come under scrutiny for downplaying John Fetterman's health struggles shortly after his stroke. She called the stroke a "little hiccup" on the same day her husband had surgery to implant a pacemaker and defibrillator. John Fetterman has more recently acknowledged he almost died from the stroke and that he may never be "100 percent."
Fetterman's campaign did not respond to questions about Gisele's attack on Burns.