PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In his first Pennsylvania television interview since his release from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for depression, Senator John Fetterman opened up about what happened and what it means.
It’s been quite a year for Fetterman. He suffered a stroke a year ago and returned to the campaign trail in time to win the election last November before succumbing to a severe depression that hospitalized him for six weeks.
“I feel fantastic, honestly,” Fetterman said. “A lot of people have been asking, ‘Hey, how are you feeling, how’s your depression?’ It’s in remission, and I am just so grateful to be feeling great.”
Fetterman says he’s back in business at the Senate, but KDKA-TV’s Jon Delano asked the blunt and direct question many have wondered and asked about.
Delano: “Is John Fetterman really fit, mentally and physically, to be a United States senator?”
Fetterman: “That certainly is very blunt, but my answer will be blunt, too. Hell, yes, and that’s why I’m doing it. Just the way any Pennsylvanians are working, you take it a day and a day and work hard, and that’s exactly what I am doing here.”
Fetterman attributes the depression in January not only to his stroke last May but also to what he calls a brutal campaign last fall.
“It was after the brutality of the campaign, the other side,” Fetterman said. “Some people believe it was one of the most vicious political campaigns.”
The senator does not blame Mehmet Oz in any way but says he realized even with a victorious election he was not himself.
“I wasn’t being the kind of senator Pennsylvania deserved. I wasn’t being the kind of husband Gisele deserved, I wasn’t being the kind of father my children deserved,” he said.
That compelled him to get treatment for depression, which Fetterman insists has put him back on top mentally despite the physical support through captioning and hearing aids that his stroke recovery still requires.
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