Aides, gov’s office expect Fetterman to return to Senate

Aides, gov’s office expect Fetterman to return to Senate

Days after Sen. John Fetterman’s office announced that he had checked himself into a hospital for depression, both his staff and the governor’s office in Pennsylvania said they fully expect him to return to work.

Aides to Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said they are not taking any steps to prepare for the possibility that Fetterman may eventually announce a resignation.

“Absolutely not,” said Manuel Bonder, press secretary for Shapiro. “The governor admires Senator Fetterman taking care of his mental health and looks forward to him being back in the Senate representing Pennsylvania.”

Fetterman’s aides said he will likely return from inpatient care in a few weeks.

“In Senate time, which is a bit like geologic time, John’s time away will be the blink of an eye,” said Fetterman’s chief of staff, Adam Jentleson.

The comments come amid a new round of questions around Fetterman’s future in the chamber he now serves. The dismissal of such chatter underscores the progress being made around perceptions and understanding of mental health.

Fetterman is among the first sitting senators to have disclosed his struggles with depression. And in the aftermath, his staff, a wide range of political observers, and mental health advocates applauded the idea that his case could help reduce stigmas around the disease.

During the 2022 midterms, Fetterman suffered from a stroke days before the May primary. He continues to experience auditory processing issues. Fetterman’s Republican opponent, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, made his health and transparency around it issues in the campaign. Fetterman went on to win the race by nearly five percentage points.

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Author: By Holly Otterbein