Senator John Fetterman recently entered a hospital for depression, as confirmed by his office. However, both his staff and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro’s office have expressed their belief that he will return to work.
Governor Shapiro’s aides stated that they are not making any preparations for a potential resignation announcement from Fetterman.
“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.