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Fetterman "remains on a path to recovery" amid depression treatment, office says

Rep. Susan Wild on mental health care
Rep. Susan Wild on Fetterman's hospitalization, mental health care in America 07:19

Washington — Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman is "doing well" and "remains on a path to recovery" as he continues to receive treatment for clinical depression, his office said Monday.

The update from Joe Calvello, Fetterman's communications director, is the first the Democratic senator's office has provided since it announced on Feb. 16 that Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland. 

"We don't have a lot to update folks with since there's no real news to report except that John is doing well, working with the wonderful doctors, and remains on a path to recovery," Calvello said. "He is visiting with staff and family daily, and his staff are keeping him updated on Senate business and news."

Calvello said Fetterman's staff is "moving full speed ahead and working tirelessly for the people of Pennsylvania," citing the opening of a new office in Erie, Pennsylvania, last week. 

"We understand the intense interest in John's status and especially appreciate the flood of well-wishes," he said. "However, as we have said this will be a weeks-long process and while we will be sure to keep folks updated as it progresses, this is all there is to give by way of an update."

Fetterman's office announced that the senator agreed to inpatient care for clinical depression at Walter Reed after he was evaluated by Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician of Congress, who recommended the treatment. Fetterman, 53, has experienced depression "off and on" through his life, according to Adam Jentleson, the senator's chief of staff, though it had become more severe in the weeks before he sought treatment. 

Fetterman received an outpouring of support following the disclosure from his office, including from President Biden who said his decision to seek care "is brave and important."

Gisele Fetterman, the senator's wife, said on Twitter last week that she and the couple's children drove to Canada to avoid media attention once news of her husband's treatment became public: "We talked about lots of hard things and how we will all have to face hard things. About the need to be gentle ... with all and with ourselves."

Elected to the Senate in November, Fetterman's victory over Republican opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz was a crucial pick-up for Democrats in their quest to keep their hold of the upper chamber. He was sidelined for two months during the campaign after suffering a stroke in May and had surgery to implant a pacemaker. 

The senator was hospitalized earlier this month after feeling light-headed while attending a Senate Democratic retreat in Washington and discharged two days later. Tests conducted during the hospitalization ruled out a new stroke, and his office said Fetterman showed no evidence of seizures. 

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