As Pennsylvania Democrat Senator John Fetterman remains hospitalized, concerns over his capacity to fulfill his duties grow. The Senator’s office released a statement on Thursday, claiming he is “doing well” and is “expected” to return to the Senate chamber soon. Absent for nearly five weeks, Fetterman sought inpatient treatment for clinical depression after suffering a stroke last May during his campaign.

With Fetterman’s prolonged absence, it is crucial to question whether he is fit for office. His team initially announced that he checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on February 15th, with aides noting that he had been withdrawn and disinterested for weeks. However, while post-stroke depression is indeed treatable, the length of his stay and lack of public appearances raise red flags.

Spokesperson Joe Calvello recently stated, “He’ll be back soon, at least over a week, but soon.” But is this a realistic projection for someone grappling with such serious health issues? Clinical depression, especially when severe, is not something that can be easily remedied within a fixed timeframe. Many have expressed skepticism, including conservative commentator Tim Young, who demanded video evidence of Fetterman’s progress.

Pennsylvania Republicans have also called for Fetterman to release a video, demonstrating his well-being. Washington County Republican Party Chair Sean Logue questioned Fetterman’s ability to carry out his duties as Senator, stating, “We call upon Senator Fetterman to appear on camera to show us he is alive and well, and if he is unable to do so, we call upon our elected Representatives in Washington, Senator [Bob] Casey and Congressman [Guy] Reschenthaler, to intervene immediately.”

Furthermore, Logue expressed that if Fetterman is unable or unwilling to fulfill his role as a United States Senator, he should resign and a special election should be held. Such concerns are warranted, given the gravity of Fetterman’s health problems and the extended length of his absence.

Despite updates from CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju suggesting that Fetterman could leave Walter Reed within two weeks, many remain unconvinced. According to Raju, Fetterman’s extended stay was due to doctors attempting to balance his medications. However, as one Twitter user pointed out, mental health issues like clinical depression are not as straightforward to manage as a broken bone.

RedState deputy editor Kira Davis responded, “This is ridiculous. Clinical depression is not something you ‘cure’ in rehab. To be admitted for depression is not that common, let alone for this long. Someone is lying, and Fetterman is not fit for office.” Indeed, the situation demands transparency, accountability, and an honest assessment of Fetterman’s ability to serve as a Senator.

After calls for his resignation last month, Fetterman’s team acknowledged his ongoing battle with depression. His Chief of Staff, Adam Jentleson, said, “While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks.” The people of Pennsylvania deserve a representative who can effectively advocate for their needs, and it is crucial to determine if Fetterman is capable of fulfilling this responsibility.

As Senator Fetterman continues to receive daily in-person briefings and sponsor legislation from the hospital, the question remains: Is he truly fit to serve? If not, it is time for him to step down and allow for a special election to ensure Pennsylvania has the strong, capable representation it deserves.

Sources: ConservativeBrief, APnews

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