Sen. John Fetterman, who’s been hospitalized for five weeks over post-stroke depression, is expected to return to Capitol Hill “soon,” his office said Thursday without providing a specific timeline.
The 53-year-old Pennsylvania Democrat suffered a stroke while campaigning last May and checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Feb. 15 when he began feeling depressed, a common after-effect felt by stroke survivors.
A spokesperson for Fetterman did not provide a date he’s expected to head back to work.
“He’ll be back soon, at least over a week, but soon,” spokesperson Joe Calvello said Thursday.
Members of his party did not share more details on his return either.
“We want to give him the space to recuperate,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said at a Wednesday news conference. “He needs it, it’s fair, it’s right. There are other people in the Senate who have taken their time to recuperate but I’m confident he’s going to come back and be an outstanding and fine senator.”
Fellow Pennsylvanian Democrat Sen. Bob Casey said he has heard from Fetterman’s staff that his colleague has made “good progress,” but he hasn’t spoken to him himself — not wanting to burden him more.
He doesn’t know when Fetterman will return, but said he is glad he is getting the time he needs to recover.
“I’m just happy he’s getting the time that he needs and most people understand that these things don’t occur over two or three weeks, it takes a little longer,” Casey said.
Last week, it was reported that doctors were working to get his medication “exactly right” before he could be released, which could take up to two more weeks.
Fetterman had been in office for a little over a month when he was admitted to Walter Reed. His staffers said he was not acting like himself. He was withdrawn instead of engaging in his typical banter with aides and became disinterested in talking and eating.
The Capitol physician, Dr. Brain Monahan evaluated the freshman senator and recommended he get treatment at Walter Reed.
During his stay at the military hospital, Fetterman has been briefed in person by his chief of staff daily, Calvello said. He has continued to sponsor legislation and issue statements through his office while undergoing treatment.
Fetterman won his primary race while in the hospital following his major stroke. He underwent surgery in which doctors implanted a pacemaker with a defibrillator to manage his heart.
He then beat Republican TV star Dr. Mehmet Oz in one of the country’s most closely watched and expensive Senate races.
With Post wires