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March 30, 2023

John Fetterman plans to return to U.S. Senate in mid-April following treatment for depression

The Democratic senator has been receiving care Walter Reed National Military Medical Center since Feb. 15

Sen. John Fetterman is expected to return to his job on Capitol Hill during the week of April 17 after spending more than a month undergoing treatment for depression.

Though it is unclear exactly when Fetterman plans to leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he's been receiving care since mid-February, Politico reported that he will return to the Senate after the upcoming two-week recess in April.

Fetterman, a Democrat from Pennsylvania who began his first term in office in January, has suffered from depression in the past, but it became more serious in the weeks leading up to his hospitalization on Feb. 15, his office has said.

The lawmaker's stay has stretched beyond six weeks as doctors have tried to ensure his medication was effective, CNN reported.

In publicly seeking treatment, Fetterman, 53, challenged the stigma around men seeking treatment for mental health struggles. His wife, Giselle Fetterman, echoed this sentiment in a tweet earlier this month.

"Society's expectations and traditional gender roles play a part in why men are less likely to discuss or seek help for their mental health," she wrote. "As always, John continues to challenge the conversation."

Fetterman's hospital stay has been the latest health struggle for the former Pennsylvania lieutenant governor and Braddock mayor.

In February, Fetterman was hospitalized at George Washington University Hospital after becoming lightheaded while attending a Senate Democratic retreat. Although he had suffered a stroke while on the campaign trail last year, testing did not show signs of another stroke at that time.

During his current hospitalization, Fetterman has met regularly with his staff and family, and also signed onto a bipartisan rail safety bill.

Earlier this month, Fetterman's chief-of-staff, Adam Jentleson, tweeted about the Senator's improving condition.

"John is well on his way to recovery and wanted me to say how grateful he is for all the well wishes," Jentleson wrote. "He’s laser focused on PA & will be back soon."

Other senators currently absent include Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, of Pennsylvania, also missed time in February to undergo a successful surgery to treat prostate cancer.

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