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Less than a week after being discharged from the hospital, where he was taken after experiencing dizziness during a Senate Democrats retreat, Sen. John Fetterman (D-Penn.) checked himself into Walter Reed Hospital to receive treatment for severe clinical depression. According to reports, he’s expected to be under care for a few weeks.
“Unclear how long Fetterman will stay in hospital, I’m told. Could be a month, maybe shorter,” CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju tweeted on Friday. “Will take time for him to get right medication, per source. His symptoms were weight loss and lack of appetite, the latter of which contributed to lightheadedness last week, per source.”
This is the same man who repeatedly assured the voters of Pennsylvania that he was fit to serve; who gave us smarmy language about how he was campaigning for “anyone that ever got knocked down that got back up.”
Well, he wasn’t back up, was he?
And yet, the left is trying to present Fetterman as a hero for getting the help he needs.
“John, Gisele – Jill and I are thinking about your family today,” Joe Biden tweeted last week. “Millions of people struggle with depression every day, often in private. Getting the care you need is brave and important.”
Jen Senior at The Atlantic had her own bizarre take. “Fetterman’s office could have blamed his depression on his stroke, which is a common cause of depression,” she wrote. “Instead, it made a point of saying that Fetterman had had depression in the past.”
That was something that was curiously not discussed during the campaign, that perhaps the voters of Pennsylvania would have liked to know. But Senior’s longwinded defense and praise of Fetterman was only beginning, and she ultimately acknowledged that “Fetterman has basically been forced to contend with the effects of a severe brain trauma while working an absurdly demanding job in one of the most polarized and toxic political climates the country has ever known.”
Yeah — which is why he should have dropped out of the race last year and let the Pennsylvania Democratic Party select another candidate to replace him. Every paragraph of Senior’s column merely confirms everything that conservative media has been saying since last year: that John Fetterman is incapable of being a senator. In addition to the limitations created by his cognitive impairment, the demanding job of being a U.S. Senator clearly exacerbated his mental and emotional fragility. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be forced to come to terms with those limitations the way Fetterman has had to in the Senate. In retrospect, it’s not surprising he’s struggling to cope.
And it was all preventable. The New York Timesacknowledged that Fetterman “may have set himself back permanently by not taking the recommended amount of rest during the campaign,” and people around him are concerned that he was still pushing himself too much in light of his fragile health.
Fetterman wasn’t honest with himself or the people of Pennsylvania. And no one in his inner circle, be it his wife or his Democrat donor doctor, did anything to stop him, even though they most certainly knew the truth.
So, no, Fetterman should not be celebrated for bravery. It sucks for him that he had a stroke, but he’s been denying the reality of what that stroke means for his health. It’s about time he put his health and the people of Pennsylvania first. That would be the brave thing to do.