Sen. John Fetterman, D-P.A., broke down into tears during a Senate hearing on Thursday when he claimed he was being bullied.
There is growing concern about Fetterman’s ability to perform his duties as a U.S. Senator after a near-fatal stroke in 2021 left him with serious brain damage that impacts his ability to understand language.
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The impact of the brain damage often still leaves Fetterman visibly disoriented.
He fell into a deep depression over his prospects of recovery that required over a month of hospitalization in the spring.
Fetterman’s serious health concerns have caused critics to question his cognitive ability and ask whether he should be in such a powerful position — reasonable questions that caused Fetterman to break down into tears.
The Pennsylvania Democrat requires a special transcription app because he cannot process spoken language and broke down during U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing over his ability to “fully participate in this meeting” on Thursday.
“Because I live in a political environment, I was ridiculed and made fun of because I wasn’t able to process things at times,” he claimed.
“I’m so sorry, I’m sure many of you had to go through this kind of thing,” Fetterman said. “I admire everyone who has to live with these kind of struggles and prevail over them.”
Critics noted that Fetterman again refused to wear a suit to the hearing, another breach of the Senate’s longstanding dress code that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recently suspended.
A Fox News host recently asked if Fetterman’s refusal to wear a suit and tie was a matter of cognitive function.
“Can John Fetterman perform his basic tasks, like putting on a suit and tying his tie?” Fox News star Emily Compagno asked.
“The issue isn’t necessarily his function. It’s that his campaign promised us that he could,” she said. “It’s that from the beginning they assured us that he was well and healthy and able to perform all the functions of the Senate.”
“So now it’s not about to use his word, acting like a slob, although I’m happy to treat him like one because he looks like one. It’s the issue of why are we continuing to accommodate this person from the hospital bed, from home, from the call in, from the door where he shouts his vote,” Compagno said.
“Now, because he can’t put on a suit, to me it raises greater questions about his ability to perform a Senate role,” she concluded.
Take a look and decide for yourself —
In a hearing with people with disabilities, Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) gets emotional showing his cellphone transcription app & addressing those who mock him for his auditory processing struggles:
“How can we become more empathetic, more responsive, and more effective senators?” pic.twitter.com/eI6bZlzoxj
— The Recount (@therecount) September 21, 2023