Fetterman Remains Hospitalized as Doctors Rule Out a Second Stroke

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WASHINGTON — Senator John Fetterman, the Pennsylvania Democrat who suffered a near-fatal stroke before winning his seat last year, spent a second night in the hospital on Thursday as doctors ruled out another stroke but monitored him for signs of seizure, his spokesman said.

Mr. Fetterman, 53, was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday after feeling lightheaded while attending a Democratic Senate retreat in Washington. After an M.R.I. and other tests, doctors ruled out another stroke, the spokesman said. As of Thursday night, there had also been no signs of seizure.

Mr. Fetterman has experienced auditory processing issues since the life-changing stroke he suffered in May, just days before the Democratic primary. Since then, he has relied on closed captioning to help him communicate. During the midterm election, he briefly pared down his schedule to recover, but continued his campaign in one of the most competitive and closely watched Senate races in the nation.

His Republican opponent in the race, Dr. Mehmet Oz, seized on the issue of Mr. Fetterman’s health in an attempt to revive his struggling candidacy, and he wasn’t the only one. Mr. Fetterman was relentlessly attacked and questioned about whether he was fit to serve by Republicans and conservative talk show hosts. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson called him “unapologetically brain damaged” and Republicans accused him of lying about his health.

Mr. Fetterman had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted after his stroke and said that he sometimes dropped and slurred words but was steadily improving. He did not suffer any cognitive damage, according to his doctors.

Despite the criticism and the setbacks that came with trying to settle in to his new reality while in the national spotlight, he ultimately won his race by five points, a victory that his allies attribute in part to a wellspring of sympathy among voters for his health-related trials.

“There are a lot of people out there who understand disability, and understand struggle, and he won big,” said Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Carlson continued his attacks on Thursday night as Mr. Fetterman remained hospitalized. “Sad, but also, you wonder, what is going on?” Mr. Carlson said, noting that many had wondered whether Mr. Fetterman was up to the job when he came to Congress.

Since arriving in the Senate in January, Mr. Fetterman has been partaking in committee hearings and caucus lunches, as well as meeting with constituent groups and fellow senators. He attended President Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night and was participating in a daylong party retreat at the Library of Congress when he felt lightheaded and decided to seek help at George Washington University Hospital.

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