Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., “will be back soon,” his chief of staff tweeted Monday, posting the first photos of the senator since he was voluntarily hospitalized for clinical depression nearly three weeks ago.
The photos showed Fetterman and his chief of staff, Adam Jentleson, huddled over papers in apparent discussion. Jentleson wrote in a tweet that the two discussed rail safety legislation, the Farm Bill and other Senate business. Last week, Fetterman co-sponsored a rail safety bill while receiving in-patient care.
“John is well on his way to recovery and wanted me to say how grateful he is for all the well wishes,” Jentleson wrote, adding that the senator was “laser focused” on Pennsylvania and would “be back soon.”
Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last month at the recommendation of Brian Monahan, Congress’ attending physician. At the time, a senior aide said Fetterman would most likely remain in inpatient care for “a few weeks” as doctors tried different medications and adjusted the dosage. The senator had struggled to adjust to his new reality post-stroke and had been navigating questions about his self-worth, the aide said at the time.
Fetterman suffered a stroke last year before winning the Pennsylvania Senate race. Depression is common after a stroke, according to the American Stroke Association. It can be caused by chemical changes in the brain that make it difficult to feel positive emotions or by a psychological response to the stress of the event.
The senator’s office has so far not released concrete information on when he will return to the Senate, where Democrats have a 51-49 majority. Last week, Fetterman spokesperson Joe Calvello said in a statement that the lawmaker was “on a path to recovery” and visiting with staff and family daily.