Newly elected US Senator John Fetterman of the Democratic Party is being treated in a hospital for clinical depression. The Pennsylvania state politician, who suffered a stroke last May, was admitted to the Walter Reed Military Hospital in a Washington suburb on Wednesday evening, his chief of staff Adam Jentleson said on Thursday.
"John has struggled with depression throughout his life, but it's only gotten worse in the last few weeks," Jentleson said. The 53-year-old, who won a vital victory for the Democrats in November's midterms, was examined by the US Congressional Physician on Monday. The doctor then recommended a hospital stay on Wednesday.
"John has consented and is being treated on a voluntary basis," his chief of staff said. The doctors at the Walter Reed Military Hospital, where US presidents are also treated, have assured that Fetterman "will be well again soon".
The more than two meter tall politician - with a bald head, tattoos and a penchant for hoodies and shorts in US politics a highly unusual appearance - had narrowly defeated the Republican candidate Mehmet Oz at the midterms in swing state Pennsylvania. Thanks to this success, President Joe Biden's Democrats were able to increase their wafer-thin Senate majority by one seat.
Fetterman's victory was also remarkable because he had been severely weakened by a stroke during the election campaign. Among other things, the 53-year-old had great problems expressing himself in longer sentences in a television duel against Oz.
Last week, Fetterman was then examined in a hospital for dizziness. However, doctors concluded that the senator had not suffered a new stroke.