WASHINGTON — On Wednesday night, Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., “checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to receive treatment for clinical depression,” his chief of staff, Adam Jentleson, said in a statement.
“While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks,” Jentleson said.
Fetterman suffered a stroke last year before winning the Pennsylvania Senate race in a highly competitive contest. Earlier this month, his office said he was hospitalized after feeling lightheaded but that tests ruled out another stroke.
“On Monday, John was evaluated by Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress. Yesterday, Dr. Monahan recommended inpatient care at Walter Reed. John agreed, and he is receiving treatment on a voluntary basis,” Jentleson said in his Thursday statement. “After examining John, the doctors at Walter Reed told us that John is getting the care he needs, and will soon be back to himself.”
His wife, Gisele Barreto Fetterman, tweeted: “After what he’s been through in the past year, there’s probably no one who wanted to talk about his own health less than John. I’m so proud of him for asking for help and getting the care he needs.”
She added a request to respect the family’s privacy.
Some of Fetterman’s fellow senators wished him well and praised him for seeking help, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who said on Twitter: “Millions of Americans, like John, struggle with depression each day. I am looking forward to seeing him return to the Senate soon.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., tweeted that it’s “important to take care of your mental health and it takes extreme strength to reach out when you need help.”
And fellow Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey said he’s “proud” of Fetterman “for getting the help he needs.”
Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., who has talked on the Senate floor about her own experiences with depression, tweeted that pursuing “help when you need it is a sign of strength, not weakness.”
Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said it “takes a big man to admit when he needs help. @SenFettermanPA is a big, courageous man.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Julie Tsirkin contributed.