Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman raised eyebrows on Wednesday with his choppy opening statement after his return to the Senate following a months-long hospital stay due to clinical depression.
The Democratic Senator, who was previously hospitalized after suffering a stroke on the campaign trail, resumed his chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research. His remarks upon his return, however, were choppy and left some people concerned.
Podcaster Jewels Jones called the clip "frightening" while Harrison Fields, communications director for Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., joked about Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s reaction to the clip. Reporter Breanna Morelo wrote, "Remember when they scolded you for criticizing a man with a ‘disability’ during his campaign? Well—here he is attempting to do his job after coming back from a 2 month vacation…"
Reporter Savannah Hernandez tweeted that she's "heard second graders with better reading abilities than this," and called the clip "just sad."
Joe Calvello, a spokesperson for Fetterman, told Fox News Digital that it's "a sad but true fact of life that some people seem to get their jollies attacking John for the auditory processing issues resulting from his stroke but they’re just shouting into the wind."
"Republicans already tried emptying the arsenal attacking John’s health and Pennsylvanians had his back in a big way," Calvello said. "As a senator, John is fighting for forgotten communities and all of the people of Pennsylvania, regardless of their social media habits."
Fetterman returned to the Senate on Monday and Wednesday marked the first subcommittee hearing he has chaired since leaving the hospital. Despite the choppy opening statement, Fetterman made it clear that he is determined to continue his work.
Though Fetterman’s choppy opening statement may have raised a few eyebrows, he remains determined to continue his work and serve the people of Pennsylvania. His spokesperson, Joe Calvello, emphasized that the Senator is fighting for forgotten communities and all of the people of Pennsylvania, regardless of their social media habits. In the end, Fetterman’s determination and dedication to his work is admirable and inspiring.
John Fetterman chaired a subcommittee hearing today.
Here is his opening statement. pic.twitter.com/Y6EHYkhkBZ
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) April 19, 2023