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John Fetterman hospitalized after "feeling lightheaded" during Senate retreat, but did not suffer another stroke, his office says

Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania was hospitalized Wednesday after "feeling lightheaded" while on a Senate Democratic retreat in Washington D.C., his office announced. He remained hospitalized Thursday, but his office said an MRI and other tests had ruled out a new stroke.

Fetterman was driven by his staff to George Washington University Hospital, his office said in a statement late Wednesday night.

"Initial tests did not show evidence of a new stroke, but doctors are running more tests and John is remaining overnight for observation," the statement read, adding that he was in "good spirits and talking with his staff and family."

In another statement Thursday evening, his communications director, Joe Calvello, said Fetterman had just received the results of an MRI. "According to John's doctors at The George Washington University Hospital, the results of the MRI, along with the results of all of the other tests the doctors ran, rule out a new stroke. He is being monitored with an EEG for signs of seizure — so far there are no signs of seizure, but he is still being monitored," he said. 

The 53-year-old Fetterman, then Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor, suffered a stoke in May during his Senate campaign, and underwent surgery to implant a pacemaker. 

In October, he released a letter from his doctor saying he had "no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office."

Still, the topic of his health became a central issue during the campaign, as Fetterman's Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, repeatedly questioned whether Fetterman was fit to serve in the Senate.

Fetterman acknowledged using a closed captioning device to read questions during interviews and in a late October debate with Oz, but repeatedly stressed he had been transparent about his health challenges and was improving each day.

His auditory processing challenges were evident during his face-off with Oz, as he stumbled with his words at times and struggled at times to answer questions.

Despite his health struggles, Fetterman still went on to defeat Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, in November. His win over Oz helped Democrats grow their majority in the Senate from 50 to 51 seats.

He attended President Biden's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

President Biden Delivers State Of The Union Address
Sen. John Fetterman (D-Penn.) walks through the U.S. Capitol prior to President Biden's State of the Union address to a joint meeting of Congress on Feb. 7, 2023. Getty Images
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