Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., raised eyebrows on Wednesday with his choppy opening statement after his return to the Senate.
Fetterman returned to the Senate this week after a lengthy stay in the hospital for clinical depression that began in mid-February.
The Pennsylvania Democrat, who suffered a stroke on the campaign trail, resumed his chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics and Research.
PHOTOS: FETTERMAN RETURNS TO SENATE IN SWEATSHIRT, SHORTS AFTER MONTHS-LONG HOSPITAL STAY
Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., who suffered a stroke on the campaign trail, resumed his chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics and Research. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Fetterman’s opening remarks after his months-long hospital stay were choppy, with users online reacting to a clip of his comments.
Podcaster Jewels Jones called the clip “frightening,” while Harrison Fields, communications director for Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., joked about Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s reaction to the clip.
“Remember when they scolded you for criticizing a man with a ‘disability’ during his campaign?” reporter Breanna Morelo wrote. “Well—here he is attempting to do his job after coming back from a 2 month vacation…”
Reporter Savannah Hernandez tweeted she has “heard second graders with better reading abilities than this.”
“This is just sad,” Hernandez wrote.
Joe Calvello, spokesperson for Fetterman, told Fox News Digital that it’s “a sad but true fact of life that some people seem to get their jollies attacking John for the auditory processing issues resulting from his stroke but they’re just shouting into the wind.”
“Republicans already tried emptying the arsenal attacking John’s health and Pennsylvanians had his back in a big way,” Calvello said. “As a senator, John is fighting for forgotten communities and all of the people of Pennsylvania, regardless of their social media habits.”
Fetterman returned to the Senate on Monday, with his Wednesday gaveling in marking the first subcommittee hearing he has chaired since leaving the hospital.
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As the senator entered the Capitol for one of the first times since taking office in January, he refused to take questions from the press.
Fetterman was dressed in a black hoodie and athletic shorts.