Democrats Back Fetterman After Depression Reveal: ‘A Show Of Strength’
Senate Democrats immediately rallied around Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) on Thursday after his office announced he was checking into a Washington-area hospital to be treated for clinical depression.
“Happy to hear @SenFettermanPA is getting the help he needs and deserves. Millions of Americans, like John, battle depression every day,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) tweeted. “I look forward to seeing him return to the Senate soon.”
“I stand by John Fetterman and his family,” Dick Durbin (Illinois), the Senate Democratic whip, told The Hill. “This is a challenge, an unimaginable challenge that he has faced in life. He deserves the very best professional care and I’m sure he will get it from Walter Reed.”
When asked if Fetterman can serve a full term, Durbin said, “I think he can.”
“I believe that with the right care that he will receive, he will soon be back in our ranks,” he said.
Fetterman’s announcement Thursday that he had voluntarily checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center made him one of the first sitting members of the Senate to announce he was being treated for depression.
According to his office, the senator “has experienced bouts of depression throughout his life,” adding that it “only got serious in the past few weeks.”
Adam Jentleson, Fetterman’s chief of staff, added that Walter Reed’s doctors “told us that John is getting the care he needs and will be well again soon.”
While lawmakers have historically been wary of disclosing mental health issues, the tide is beginning to turn in Congress. Outside the Capitol, a growing number of athletes, entertainers, and just regular Americans have come to terms with their own mental health.
Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.), who has been open about her battle with depression Decades back, Fetterman said he was “doing exactly what he should be doing, which is seek help.”
“Seeking help when you need it is a sign of strength, not weakness, something John demonstrates for all of us,” Smith says called.
Durbin said depression has been increasingly recognized and accepted as something that many Americans struggle with.
“There was a time when nobody mentioned the word. Insanity was considered a curse, not a medical problem. Thank God that’s changed,” said the Illinois Democrat.
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), who is recovering from prostate cancer surgery Tuesday, also conveyed his best wishes to his Keystone State colleague.
“Millions of Americans struggle with their mental health. I’m proud of @SenFettermanPA for getting the help he needs and for publicly acknowledging his challenges in breaking down the stigma for others,” Casey tweetedsent his prayers to Fetterman’s family.
Across the aisle, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted that he and his wife “lift John up in prayer. Mental illness is real and serious and I hope he gets the care he needs.”
“Regardless of which side of the political aisle you are on, please respect his family’s request for privacy,” Cruz added.
And Democrats across the Capitol also got involved.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) tweeted, “There is never a weakness in seeking help,” while Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said, “Proud that he is speaking openly about his battle with depression and hopes this encourages others to seek the help they need. stay strong We are with you.”
After Fetterman suffered a stroke in the days leading up to the Pennsylvania Democratic primary and visibly struggled with auditory processing in the run-up to the general election, some questioned his fitness for office. But after he faltered in the campaign’s only debate, some Democratic voters said his health issues made him relatable.
He continues to address auditory processing issues that have forced him to rely on closed captioning to converse with fellow legislators and individuals.
Fetterman underwent surgery to implant a pacemaker shortly after his stroke, and he was hospitalized when he became dizzy after Senate Democrats pulled out on February 8. Two days later, he was discharged from a Washington, DC hospital.
Test results last week showed no evidence he had suffered a seizure, according to a Fetterman spokesman. Additional testing also showed he had not suffered a second stroke in less than a year.
He was Approved from the hospital in Washington, DC the following day and returned to the Senate on Monday.
Alexander Bolton contributed to this.
https://www.abc27.com/pennsylvania-politics/democrats-throw-support-behind-fetterman-following-depression-revelation-a-sign-of-strength/ Democrats Back Fetterman After Depression Reveal: ‘A Show Of Strength’