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Sen. John Fetterman co-sponsors bills while hospitalized for depression

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA). (Official portrait)
March 03, 2023

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) has co-sponsored multiple Senate bills and signed an open letter since being hospitalized for clinical depression in February, and a journalist who questioned how that was possible was blocked on Twitter by a top aide.

Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Feb. 15 to be treated for clinical depression. He had also been briefly hospitalized for lightheadedness earlier in the month – all of which followed him suffering what he described as a near-fatal stroke months before his election last year.

Since his latest hospitalization, Fetterman has been a co-sponsor on six Senate bills, according to He has also joined two colleagues in signing an open letter calling for accountability from Norfolk Southern over the recent toxic train derailment in Ohio. 

Three of the bills co-sponsored since Fetterman’s hospitalization came one day after, and the other three came two weeks later. His involvement in the bills ahead of his hospitalization is not clear.

Stephen Miller, a journalist and podcaster, questioned the situation in tweets directed at Fetterman’s chief of staff, Adam Jentleson. After Miller asked who is doing Fetterman’s work “while he himself is currently hospitalized,” Jentleson blocked him on Twitter, according to a screenshot. 

Whether Miller was already blocked could not be independently verified.

In a Twitter thread on Monday, Fetterman’s communications director, Joe Calvello, said “there’s no real news to report” on the senator’s condition, except that he is stable and improving.

“John is visiting with staff and family daily, and his staff are keeping him updated on Senate business and news,” Calvello wrote. “We understand the intense interest in John’s status. … However, as we have said this will be a weeks-long process.”

Fetterman’s health issues have defined his life in national politics since before his election in November. He sometimes struggled to speak during a post-stroke debate against Republican opponent Mehmet Oz, and accommodations for him have been installed in the U.S. Capitol, including a permanent closed-caption display at his Senate chamber desk.