Top Fetterman Aide Says Campaign Might Have Caused Permanent Damage, Contradicts Donor Doctor’s Letter

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
Font Size:

A top aide to Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman said Friday his senate campaign might have caused permanent brain damage, contradicting a letter Fetterman’s doctor wrote that said he “can work full duty in public office.”

According to a report in the New Yew York Times, Fetterman has been struggling to adjust to his new life as a U.S. Senator. Fetterman, who was hospitalized Wednesday after feeling lightheaded at a Senate retreat, has reportedly been frustrated with the fact he might have “set himself back permanently” by not resting enough after his stroke.

The report says Fetterman is accepting he might have permanent brain damage. The Times also noted that those close to him are worrying he is still pushing himself too much and that it could be “detrimental.”

In October, Fetterman’s doctor Dr. Clifford Chen and campaign donor wrote that his “physical exam was normal.”

“His lung exam was clear, heart rate was regular, and his strength was normal in all four extremities without any strength or coordination deficits,” the letter stated.

However, Fetterman’s Chief of Staff, Adam Jentleson, told the Times that Fetterman’s recovery might not be as smooth as expected.

“What you’re supposed to do to recover from this is do as little as possible,” Jentleson said, contradicting what Fetterman’s doctor wrote in the letter. Fetterman “was forced to do as much as possible — he had to get back to the campaign trail. It’s hard to claw that back,” he added.

“Before the stroke, he was the kind of person who loved the give-and-take with reporters,” Jentleson added. “The challenge is to be able to get back to that place, given the current limitations.” (RELATED: Sen. John Fetterman Hospitalized After Reportedly Feeling Lightheaded)

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) arrives to the House Chambers for U.S. President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol on February 07, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“The stroke — after which he had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted — also took a less apparent but very real psychological toll on Mr. Fetterman,” the NYT report states. (RELATED: John Fetterman Repeatedly Stumbles Over His Words In Debate With Dr. Mehmet Oz)

“It has been less than a year since the stroke transformed him from someone with a large stature that suggested machismo — a central part of his political identity — into a physically altered version of himself, and he is frustrated at times that he is not yet back to the man he once was. He has had to come to terms with the fact that he may have set himself back permanently by not taking the recommended amount of rest during the campaign. And he continues to push himself in ways that people close to him worry are detrimental,” the report adds.

The Daily Caller contacted Fetterman’s office about the Times report and about his current state of health after his most recent hospitalization, to which they did not immediately respond.