Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman hospitalized overnight in Washington
The Philadelphia Inquirer February 9, 2023
(Tribune News Service) — Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman was hospitalized overnight "for observation" after feeling lightheaded, but did not show any signs of suffering another stroke, his office announced late Wednesday night.
"Towards the end of the Senate Democratic retreat today, Senator John Fetterman began feeling lightheaded. He left and called his staff, who picked him up and drove him to The George Washington University Hospital. Initial tests did not show evidence of a new stroke, but doctors are running more tests and John is remaining overnight for observation," Joe Calvello, Fetterman's communications director, said in the statement.
It's been less than a year since Fetterman suffered a stroke he said almost killed him. Despite being off the campaign trail for nearly three months, Fetterman handily defeated his Republican opponent, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, in November.
Calvello said Wednesday night Fetterman was "in good spirits and talking with his staff and family."
Any extended absence for Fetterman, 53, would leave Democrats with a tenuous majority, especially after Sen. Kirsten Sinema left the party. Even with her vote on most issues, Democrats have a 51-49 edge. Given the Republican majority in the House, no major legislation is expected, but any absence could affect Senate Democrats' ability to approve President Joe Biden's nominations.
Pennsylvania's fellow Democratic senator, Bob Casey, is also expected to miss at least some time from the Senate in the near future due to pending surgery for prostate cancer.
Fetterman suffered a stroke May 13, three days before the Democratic primary. He had a procedure to implant a pacemaker and defibrillator in his chest and remained in the race but largely off the trail for months as he recovered. Oz made Fetterman's health a major part of his campaign, accusing Fetterman, who was slow to release details about his stroke, of not being transparent enough about his health and questioning his fitness to serve.
Fetterman insisted throughout the campaign that he was on the road to a full recovery. A statement released by his primary care doctor in October said Fetterman was continuing to recover well from the stroke and had no work restrictions.
Since his inauguration in January, Fetterman has kept the full schedule of a freshman senator, participating in his first Senate hearings, flying on Air Force One to Philadelphia for an appearance with Biden last week, and attending the State of the Union on Tuesday. In an Inquirer interview last month, his wife, Gisele, said her husband's only lingering issue from the stroke was auditory processing challenges.
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