Sen. John Fetterman returned to Congress on Monday afternoon, but images and video of his appearance soon went viral, causing Republicans to express new concerns.
The Pennsylvania Democrat appeared in a black hoodie and slacks following six weeks of clinical depression treatment.
Fox News reported that the senator declined to address any questions from the press as he entered the Capitol on one of his few visits since assuming office in January.
“It’s great to be back. Thank you,” he repeatedly said as he walked into the building.
Democrat Senator John Fetterman refuses to take questions as he returns to the Capitol for the first time since mid-February pic.twitter.com/JyTRQ1sIKe
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 17, 2023
Numerous conservatives responded to Fetterman’s appearance and arrival.
“Welcome back to John Fetterman, further proof that cognition, speech comprehension, emotional balance, and even showing up for work are no longer necessary for a career in Democrat politics!” Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk noted.
Welcome back to John Fetterman, further proof that cognition, speech comprehension, emotional balance, and even showing up for work are no longer necessary for a career in Democrat politics!
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) April 17, 2023
“How could anyone take the calls for @SenFeinstein to step down seriously when the DEMs spend more than a year excusing the deteriorating health of @JohnFetterman? If you supported Fetterman running for Senate or didn’t raise concerns about his health, please take several seats,” Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) added.
How could anyone take the calls for @SenFeinstein to step down seriously when the DEMs spend more than a year excusing the deteriorating health of @JohnFetterman?
If you supported Fetterman running for Senate or didn't raise concerns about his health, please take several seats. pic.twitter.com/vBdOR8eyko
— Byron Donalds (@ByronDonalds) April 17, 2023
Fox News reported that Fetterman will preside over his first subcommittee hearing just days after his return from an extended absence.
Monday morning, his office confirmed in a statement that Fetterman will preside over his first hearing on Wednesday. The statement also criticized Republican efforts to enforce stricter employment requirements for individuals receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamp benefits.
“Cut SNAP for families and kids while pushing tax cuts for billionaires?” the brief statement began. “Not on my watch.”
“Sen. Fetterman on Wednesday will chair his first subcommittee hearing in the Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research for a hearing will focus specifically on SNAP and the critical assistance it provides to working families through the upcoming Farm Bill,” his office noted further in the press release.
According to his chief of staff, Fetterman’s brain injury from a near-fatal stroke in May 2022 has likely left him with permanent harm.
The Pennsylvania Democrat’s office announced in February that he had been released from the hospital after a two-day stay following an episode of vertigo.
“A few minutes ago, Senator Fetterman was discharged from the hospital. In addition to the CT, CTA, and MRI tests ruling out a stroke, his EEG test results came back normal, with no evidence of seizures. John is looking forward to returning to the Senate on Monday,” his spokesman Joe Calvello said on Twitter.
As the 53-year-old senator began his third day in the hospital for what his team termed “lightheadedness,” The New York Times reported that some of his close associates are concerned about his health. On the recommendation of the congressional physician, he entered Walter Reed Medical Center shortly thereafter to receive treatment for clinical depression.
Earlier this month, Fetterman gave his first interview since being discharged, sitting down with CBS News. Immediately, observers noticed a change in the Pennsylvania Democrat’s demeanor.
“In his first interview since leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center,” the Western Journal noted, “Fetterman’s inability to keep his eyes forward is an indication that he’s constantly reading from a captioning screen, translating interviewer Jane Pauley’s questions and possibly even cuing him on his own answers.”
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It wasn’t clear that Fetterman was reading from anything, but he certainly appeared to be averting his gaze toward his right side as if to be looking at something. CONTINUE READING…