Sen. John Fetterman hospitalized after ‘feeling lightheaded’ as health woes continue

Senator John Fetterman was hospitalized after experiencing lightheadedness at a Democratic Party Senate retreat, and while it doesn’t appear to be related to the stroke that he previously suffered, the incident will likely result in more questions about the lawmaker’s health that dogged his campaign last year.

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Democrat was admitted to George Washington University Hospital in the nation’s capital after notifying his staff that he wasn’t feeling well. He was then picked up and driven to the medical facility where he was kept overnight for observation.

“Towards the end of the Senate Democratic retreat today, Senator John Fetterman began feeling lightheaded. He left and called his staff, who picked him up and drove him to The George Washington University Hospital. Initial tests did not show evidence of a new stroke, but doctors are running more tests and John is remaining overnight for observation,” said the senator’s communications director Joe Calvello in a statement.

Calvello said that Fetterman was “in good spirits and talking with his staff and family.”

Fetterman, the former lieutenant governor of the Keystone State was elected to the U.S. Senate in November, winning his race against celebrity physician Dr. Mehmet Oz – the much-maligned Republican who was backed by former President Donald J. Trump – despite demonstrating the effects of the stroke that he suffered in May 2022, mere days before the primary.

The 53-year-old Fetterman survived a disastrous debate with Oz where his cognitive challenges were on full display. Fortunately for the candidate whose campaign was buoyed by the media, his image of a lovable tattooed everyman in a hoodie was embraced by Pennsylvanians in sufficient numbers to reward him with a six-year term that critics warned he may not be able to finish due to his health woes.

Thanks to the friendly media, Fetterman was also able to shrug off a 2013 incident in which he menaced a black jogger with a shotgun, something that would have ended his campaign if he were a Republican.

The senator’s latest hospital stay came the day after he attended the annual State of the Union Address, promoting the event by tweeting out a picture of President Joe Biden with glowing eyes, a meme that was popularized by Democrats as a part of the “Dark Brandon” theme that was introduced to burnish the deeply unpopular leader’s image as a tough guy in the months leading up to the midterm elections.

Fetterman, who was just sworn in last month, was accompanied to the SOTU by his guest Dennis “Freedom” Horton, a man who along with his brother, spent 28 years in prison for a crime that he didn’t commit. He had been a fierce advocate for him during his time in state government including when Fetterman ran the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, a job that he embraced with the “heart of an activist,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Fetterman’s wife Gisele was unable to join him at the State of the Union due to her work as a volunteer firefighter in Braddock, Pa.

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Chris Donaldson


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