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How Sick is Fetterman?

How Sick is Fetterman?

There seem to be two sides to the issue of Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman’s health. 

He is being highly praised for addressing his current health issue – chronic depression — with courage by seeking professional treatment.  After all, chronic depression – like any mental disease – is not something to which folks like to admit publicly.  It is a malady that people too often suffer in silence.

That side of the story is worth telling, but there is another side that is not being told.  How sick is Fetterman?

I – like most folks – have had to deal with family and friends with serious depression.  It is most extreme if it leads to ideations of suicide – or the tragic reality.  My mother’s cousin and my own niece both took their own lives because of chronic depression.  Another relative committed herself to a psychiatric facility.  Mostly, however, they were treated as outpatients.  In most cases, it meant a lifelong dependency on some form of medication and consultation.

In the vast majority of depression cases, the person suffers dramatic mood swings … inability to work or perform daily activities … self-defeating and self-destructive behavior.

According to the reports, Fetterman had sought medical advice from two doctors – the second of which recommended hospitalization.  The Senator took his doctor’s advice and voluntarily admitted himself to treatment.

One question is … what would the doctor have done if Fetterman refused to be hospitalized. Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor could have had Fetterman committed to a psychiatric facility against his will.  That generally involves patients who are determined to be imminent dangers to themselves or others.  That is surprisingly more common than most folks know.  In some cases, patients self-commit under the threat of being committed involuntarily.  In most states, there is a maximum – usually three or four days – that a patient can be held against their will.

It is odd that in all the initial reporting I followed, there was no mention of the symptoms.  Was he suicidal?  That is one of the primary reasons for entering a psychiatric facility.  Is Fetterman in a general medical ward or in a designated psychiatric facility – as is the common practice in these situations?

What stood out in the Fetterman case above all things was the statements by his staff that he would likely be hospitalized for weeks?  That needs some explanation regarding his symptoms and conditions.  In the many times I was personally involved with individuals suffering from depression – and a number of them were severe – there was never the need for long-term hospitalization.  In most cases, they were treated as outpatients.

The press needs to ask more detailed questions and Fetterman needs to explain his symptoms in greater detail.  Was he suicidal – a threat to himself or others?  Did his condition lead to any acts of violence – such as tossing vases or smashing furniture?  Was he totally incapable of performing his duties as a United States Senator?  Was he showing up on the job?

This is no difference from when the seriousness of Fetterman’s stroke was downplayed for public consumption.  Over time, it became obvious that it was more serious than initially revealed.  They talked about a full recovery, but apparently, the debilities caused by the stroke have not ended.  In fact, doctors commenting on his current situation are referring to the stroke as “serious” and even “very serious” – and a possible reason for the depression.

Because the questions are not being asked by the media – or the details being offered by Fetterman – we do not know the extent of Fetterman’s medical condition – and this commentary is not offering up any opinions on that subject.  However, with that length of hospitalization, there can be no doubt that Fetterman’s condition is extremely serious – more serious than we are being led to believe.  That is why he needs to give the public more than a general statement on his decision to enter a medical facility.  

Yes, it is good for him to address his problem with depression directly and forthrightly.  In view of his public office, however, the people have a right to know the details of his depression.  

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Paul

    So does he have to apply for the family medical leave act ? Then if he does how long can he be on it before losing his job?

  2. Tom

    I agree with you Larry, this is very concerning to all of us of any party or affiliation. Good job covering this one!

    I think much of America, (and Oz his opponent pointed this out) was sold a bill of goods on this guy’s health. During his campaign and in the one debate he strung together enough brain cells to have, it was pointed out by his opponent that his health was not fit to serve. We all felt pity for the poor guy who had a stroke and many of us felt that just because he may have a minor speech disability (that was said would go away with work and time) he should have a chance to win the seat. I mean really, who wants to deny a disabled person the chance to work in their chosen profession.

    But we were lied to!!! This situation is much worse! And the Dems, their doctors, and media spinsters are deplorable for covering this up! They wanted that seat so bad to gain control that they were willing to use this guy and damage his health like this to get the seat. Deplorable! They made it sound like a small, insignificant, little Pennsylvania issue. Fact is, our very institution of a working Senate with all 100 senators present is at risk!! Critical legislation that the Dems want to pass will not be brought to the floor until this guy either comes back or is replaced. So basically, the Dems have put critical legislation on hold. Does anyone remember the debt ceiling debate that this guy will have to vote on?

    What is even more sick is that I read yesterday that this guy is sponsoring legislation from bedside in the psyche ward. Imagine that! He checks into a psyche ward to relieve stroke related stress and downscale the pressures of the job so he can heal and get back to some nominal form of health in which he will be able to function and perform the duties of a U.S. Senator full time. And what he is doing in the psyche ward is damaging his health further!!! The Dems will stop at nothing to keep the seat and try to provide the illusion of health!!! I am thinking they would like this guy to die (and are willing to give him help doing so) so the PA governor Josh Shapiro can appoint his favorite Dem pic. More crooked PA politics! I come from there, I know how crooked their politics can be!

    I suppose this points out a weakness in our system when it comes to long term illness and balance of power. The people of PA are not getting the quality representation they should be able to expect from their elected Senator. Just as the POTUS has a VP that takes over in threatening health cases and health operations (when a president is on anesthesia), perhaps we need to modify our system to elect vice-senate alternates to perform the function while the senator is incapacitated. Or at least have it in Senate rules that in such a case the governor or state senate designate an alternate until the elected senator is functional again.

    I feel sorry for Fetterman, but sometimes you need to know when to retire and throw in the towel. This guy is a year past his retirement date and may be closer to his death date because of all this. Oz was right! He is a doctor that spoke the truth and got criticized in media for it. And it may have turned the election (sentiments) against him.

    As far as your relatives, sorry to hear this. Fetterman’s depression is stroke induced while the root causes of your relatives depresssion seems like non-stroke issues. But all depression needs to be treated. People can live healthy balanced lives on some of those medications. By the way, for your reader’s sake, the difference between transient depression that many of us feel and chronic depression is the length of time. Depression become chronic if the presented symptoms (that you covered) last more than two months. The key is to recognize the early symptoms of anxiety, withdrawal, lack of performance, disinterest in activities they used to enjoy, confusion, inability to process complex thoughts – much of these symptoms are presented well in advance of suicidal ideation.

    • larry Horist

      Tom …. Congressman Santos is being asked to resign because of his craze lies about his resume. Fetterman lied about his ability to do the job. He never made a full recovery — was never able to fully engage in floor debates and spontaneous dialoged. And now he is in a psyche ward for an extended stay because his mental issue prevented him from doing the job. He lied about his condition during the campaign — and we are still not getting full disclosure on his condition now. It is obvious that he cannot give the job 100 percent — and there is no indication that he will be well enough in the future.. Should he be asked to resign for deceiving the public during the campaign? He certainly committed a fraud on the voters.

      • Tom

        I think you have a valid point Larry. I personally feel that Mr. Santos and Mr. Fetterman should be required (not asked) to resign. They should both have their employment terminated and the leaders of both houses go back to the state governor for a replacement. But the question is, “Should the GOP push for Mr. Fetterman’s resignation?” Does his absence give the GOP a better chance of pushing back on the Biden agenda in the senate? It seems when it comes to politics, all is fluid, none is concrete. Rules seem to be like grabbing a fist full of sand.

        And if they have been proven to lie/commit fraud, then their opponent from the last race should be the first asked to fill the vacant position – since the opponent and their base are the ones damaged by the fraudulent activity of the other.

      • frank stetson

        IMO both of these cases revolve around mental health. Until we start kicking out people we determine to be off-balance and not redeemable, I think you just need to let things roll. I, for one, would put MTG at the head of the line for the mentally unstable, he said laughing inappropriately :>)

  3. VinnieA

    Fetterman was elected to do a JOB that he was totally Unqualified to Hold! He is a Senator in the Government of the Greatest country Ever to Occupy this Planet! We all should be concerned about the Health of Our Country not the health of anyone that is a detriment to that health. Joe Biden’s Gang of Incompetent Malcontents like Fetterman and a multitude of others, is irrelevant! They, along with the Democrat Party are a Cancer that is killing Our Country……Period! Wake Up…..America is being WOKED UP!

    • Tom

      It sounds like you are saying because Fetterman is a Dem we should not be concerned about his health. I disagree. The health of our country and the health of our leaders are inextricably entwined. I understand your disdain for the Dems. I have some of that myself. But what is happening here is that the Dems are not concerned about Fetterman’s health. If they were, they would leave him alone in the psyche ward and let him heal and get better. We should always be concerned about each other’s health regardless of party affiliation. Part of being an American is to be able to have the capacity to rise above party obligation and address the true need despite party. I hope one day you develop this skill. Right now Fetterman needs someone strong that will advocate for his health, not his death, and certainly not his working from the psyche ward. I hope he connects to this person whomever they are. It does not appear to be his wife, as she is off on a vacation right now!

      • larry Horist

        Tom … in some ways, it would be argued that Santos is in better condition to perform as a congressman than Fetterman can as a Senator. Santos can still show up at the office and vote the issues upon which he got elected. I do think Santos should resign, but the deception by Fetterman concealed an inability to do the job … period. Otherwise he would not be locked away in a psyche ward. I suspect that the depression issues is not new, either. The severity of the depression suggests that it is not new. I know … I am not a doctor, but I have had experience with folks with depression. I think it would at least be worth investigating his past relative to depression.

    • frank stetson

      Cry, cry me a river, wah.

  4. Mr. PATRIOT

    I think if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find out the press is censoring the fact that Uncle Fester is on life support! They’re hiding it because they don’t want to have 2 senators up for election at the same time, both he, and Casey. The Washington DC United States corporation is playing it for all it’s worth. They are in panic! And I’m so glad!!!

    • frank stetson

      Really Mr P? You know this because? Panic? What panic? What proof? Maybe FOX can find it…..or make it up….like you,

      I think if you dig a bit deeper you will find that Republicans are too stupid to prove what you say, and how hard could figuring Fetterman is on life support be that these idiots can’t prove it.

      Bunch of cry babies.

  5. Terry

    The democrats will do and say anything to remain in power. While this guy’s story is sad and we all should be some type of empathy for him; however, the facts are the facts. He and his family chose to remain in the public domain and therefore, he and his family should be expected to answer any and all questions regarding his health. Our country is in a sad place when people refuse to put their country’s needs above their own but this is what the democrats are all about. Just look at our current President and watch while he shuffles along.

  6. Darren

    I think Fetterman is a courageous individual.
    I think he should run with Biden for the Democratic Presidency!

    • Tom

      I want whatever you are smoking Darren!! Do you get it directly from a local dealer or do you get it from the cartels in pre-rolled 20 packs in the convenient carrying box?

  7. Mike f

    Larry, The real question you should be asking here is”why did fetterman get elected?” He was not a great choice, and after he had a stroke, I believe there should have been scrambling on the democrats part to find an alternate. There wasn’t, and he won the election. The answer clearly is because the republicans put up an even worse candidate-whose only claim to fame was an endorsement by the idiot in chief (yes, he may be out of the WH, but still a fool). The people of Pennsylvania did not want someone with no ties to their state, who felt he could buy the election to be their senator. (The same words apply to Georgia, but fortunately Warnock is in good health). Republicans will continue losing elections as long as they nominate totally unqualified candidate’s -fetterman is infinitely more qualified, despite his health issues, than ozzie….

    • Tom

      I agree Mike f, Oz was a poor choice. PA would have voted GOP probably if they had been given a reasonably good candidate that is native PA. I agree that 2022 was a wake up call for GOP to provide quality candidates and step back from that election denying nonsense and Trumpism.

      Frank Stetson thinks the Santos and Fetterman issues are nothing burgers. He wants to move on. He may be right, or he may be wrong. Frank may be right that PA did not are about the health cover-up as long as they avoided a GOP win, and, at least got someone in there that would not damage them – essentially someone that would do nothing, but sometimes doing nothing can be viewed as doing something since nothing is the absence of something!

      I see it more as a moral and ethical issue. If we allow blantently dishonest people like Santos or healthwise dishonest people like Fetterman stay in office, then we all suffer from the slow but sure decay of our institution.

  8. Frank stetson

    Did he break the law?

    Then let it be.

    Or pass a law requiring the Federal Resume process, including perjury part, be part of the onboarding process during campaigns. If there isn’t one already, add medical and mental health section.

    Larry’s crazy family, false allegations, what if’s and maybe’s aside, you ain’t gonna get what you want from Fetterman, who in the words on the Larry, is exactly what PA voters wanted. Just like Santos was to NY.

    Move on, nothing more to see here.

    • Tom

      I like your Federal Resume idea!! Keep pushing for it!!!

  9. joe smith

    word is still DEPRESSION…..Demo, repo ect ,ect