Democratic Senator John Fetterman displayed strong emotions on Thursday while sharing his experiences of facing bullying due to challenges in language processing following his significant stroke in May 2022. Fetterman addressed the Senate Special Committee on Aging, where he was joined by individuals with disabilities. He became visibly emotional while recalling instances of being bullied for the symptoms he endured after his stroke.
It’s important to note that John Fetterman holds the position of a US Senator and is responsible for making decisions that impact a vast number of citizens. Consequently, any criticism related to his speech difficulties is deemed justifiable. The US Senate, after all, functions as a governing body and not as a rehabilitation facility.
During the campaign last year, John Fetterman released a note from his doctor (also a donor) who said he had “no restrictions” and could “work full duty in public office."— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 21, 2023
Now he says through tears that he "lost the ability to fully process language.”
“Because I live in a political environment, I was ridiculed and made fun of because I wasn’t able to process things at times. I’m so sorry, I’m sure many of you had to go through this kind of thing. I admire everyone who has to live with these kind of struggles and prevail over them. How can we become more empathetic, more responsive, and more effective senators?” Fetterman, while struggling to hold back his emotions, expressed.
As previously covered by Kristinn Taylor of TGP, Fetterman experienced a stroke in May of 2022.
On Friday, I wasn’t feeling well, so I went to the hospital to get checked out.— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) May 15, 2022
I didn’t want to go – I didn’t think I had to – but @giselefetterman insisted, and as usual, she was right.
The good news is I’m feeling much better + I’m well on my way to a full recovery. pic.twitter.com/WQ5X6QgQen
The 53-year-old Fetterman additionally shared a brief video alongside the announcement. In the video, he can be seen in a hospital room with his spouse, Gisele. In the video, Gisele takes on the majority of the speaking, while John Fetterman only offers a few words. He is seated in a chair, dressed in a dark hoodie, and mainly moves his left arm.
Dr. Clifford Chen, a donor to Fetterman’s campaign, issued a statement in October of the previous year, affirming Fetterman’s fitness for office shortly before he was admitted to the hospital due to clinical depression.