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Mystery swirls as Fetterman co-sponsors legislation while hospitalized for depression: ‘Very unusual’

Source image: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mystery-swirls-fetterman-co-sponsors-legislation-hospitalized-depression-unusual

FIRST ON FOX: Mystery is swirling around Pennsylvania Democrat Senator John Fetterman as he performs his senatorial duties while hospitalized for clinical depression.

Fetterman this week co-sponsored rail safety legislation, despite currently being hospitalized. 

New York University medical professor Dr. Marc Siegel told Fox News Digital that, while we should accept depression as an illness and encourage treatment, he finds it “very unusual” Fetterman is continuing his course of work from the hospital.

Siegel, a physician by trade, said what “we don’t know” is how “severe” Fetterman’s depression is, what kind of therapy he is getting, and how he is responding, and that Fetterman’s course of stay in the hospital is the normal procedure for someone suffering from clinical depression.

DEMOCRAT SEN. FETTERMAN’S OFFICE RELEASES UPDATE AFTER HE CHECKS HIMSELF INTO HOSPITAL FOR CLINICAL DEPRESSION

New York University medical professor Dr. Marc Siegel told Fox News Digital that, while we should accept depression as an illness and encourage treatment, he finds it "very unusual" Pennsylvania Democrat Senator John Fetterman is continuing his course of work from the hospital.

New York University medical professor Dr. Marc Siegel told Fox News Digital that, while we should accept depression as an illness and encourage treatment, he finds it “very unusual” Pennsylvania Democrat Senator John Fetterman is continuing his course of work from the hospital. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Siegel noted that “mental illness and physical illness aren’t the same in terms of the level of impairment.”

“So if you were to say to me, somebody had a heart attack, they’re still in the hospital, can they be a senator? You know, my answer would be depends on how their heart is doing right now,” Siegel said.

“And, in general, the answer would be no. That if you’re in the hospital for severe depression, that your judgment is impaired, and that your ability to think clearly and rationally is impaired,” he continued. “But we don’t know that.”

Siegel said he wants “to know what his psychiatrists think” with Fetterman’s recovery but noted that it’s “very unusual that somebody that’s being admitted for severe depression would be performing their job.”

Siegel said that he is "very surprised" that Fetterman is continuing to do his job as a senator, joining caucuses and co-sponsoring legislation, adding he "would be very disturbed and concerned about the idea of him performing the job of senator while receiving intensive treatment for severe depression."

Siegel said that he is “very surprised” that Fetterman is continuing to do his job as a senator, joining caucuses and co-sponsoring legislation, adding he “would be very disturbed and concerned about the idea of him performing the job of senator while receiving intensive treatment for severe depression.” (Fox News)

“That’s very unusual,” Siegel said. “Let alone as a senator.”

“If you broke your ankle, you know, nobody would think twice. Okay, he’s got surgery on his ankle and he’s recovering, but he’s performing from the bed. But mental illness, by definition, is an impairment of mood and judgment. So it would be highly, highly unlikely that somebody could do that, unless they’re just keeping them there to kind of keep them out of the way of the stress of daily living, but they feel that he’s up to the job.”

“Again, highly unusual,” Siegel added.

Siegel said that he is “very surprised” that Fetterman is continuing to do his job as a senator, joining caucuses and co-sponsoring legislation, adding he “would be very disturbed and concerned about the idea of him performing the job of senator while receiving intensive treatment for severe depression.”

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 09: Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman speaks to supporters during an election night party at StageAE on November 9, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Fetterman defeated Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz. 

PITTSBURGH, PA – NOVEMBER 09: Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman speaks to supporters during an election night party at StageAE on November 9, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Fetterman defeated Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz.  (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

“Those two don’t go together,” Siegel said. “If, however, he’s responded to treatment for severe depression and they’re just keeping an eye on him for a few days, that is more reasonable.”

Siegel also speculated that the “best-case scenario” for Fetterman is that his “doctors feel that he’s back up to a level of where he’s no longer severely depressed.”

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“But they’re afraid to let him out because they don’t know how he’ll do on the outside,” Siegel said. “So they’re keeping an eye on him while allowing him to work to restore his self-esteem, but they don’t feel he can be alone.”

Fetterman’s health has been a subject of scrutiny after his stroke while campaigning against Dr. Mehmet Oz for the seat.

Joe Calvello, Fetterman’s spokesperson, told Fox News Digital that “John is getting briefed daily by his staff and is in communication with his colleagues in the Senate.”

“As we have said multiple times this will be a weeks-long process,” Calvello said.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mystery-swirls-fetterman-co-sponsors-legislation-hospitalized-depression-unusual

Politics

House Republicans accuse NIH of ‘stonewalling’ on ‘supercharged monkeypox experiment’

House Republicans are pressing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for answers after the agency funded research experiments they say could result in a “supercharged” monkeypox virus

In a letter to acting NIH Director Lawrence Tabak, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and two subcommittee chairmen are demanding that the agency turn over documents and information regarding a government-funded experiment that reportedly involves swapping monkepox genes with a deadlier version of the virus. The lawmakers want to know whether this project was approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) review board tasked with oversight of research involving enhanced pathogens that could potentially cause a pandemic. 

This letter is a follow-up to an October 31, 2022, letter to which Republicans say the NIH never responded. GOP lawmakers accused NIH of “stonewalling” in a press release. 

“Based on the available information, it appears the project is reasonably anticipated to yield a lab-generated monkeypox virus that is 1,000 times more lethal in mice than the monkeypox virus currently circulating in humans and that transmits as efficiently as the monkeypox virus currently circulating in humans. The risk-benefit ratio indicates potentially serious risks without clear civilian practical applications,” the Republicans wrote. 

FORMER CDC DIRECTOR SLAMS GAIN-OF-FUNCTION RESEARCH: ‘PROBABLY CAUSED THE GREATEST PANDEMIC’ IN HISTORY

This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shows a colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (red) found within an infected cell (blue), cultured in the laboratory that was captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. 

This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shows a colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (red) found within an infected cell (blue), cultured in the laboratory that was captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland.  (NIAID via AP, File)

“Accordingly, this experiment would seem to involve risks reasonably anticipated to create, transfer, or use [potential pandemic pathogens] resulting from the enhancement of a pathogen’s transmissibility or virulence in humans. Thus, under the circumstances, we are interested in learning whether this experiment was reviewed under the HHS P3CO framework used to review research proposals posing significant biosafety or biosecurity risks.” 

The project leader is Dr. Bernard Moss, a veteran poxvirus researcher at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. An article in Science magazine described his efforts to learn the differences between two variants of monkeypox virus: clade 2, the West African variant that caused a global outbreak last year, and clade 1, which is believed to be deadlier and has caused outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo for decades. 

Moss’ research involves swapping the genes of the two variants, one at a time, to discover whether a specific gene in the clade 1 virus makes it deadlier. The Republicans want to know whether these lab experiments could artificially enhance the clade 2 variant. 

AFRICA’S CDC HOPES MPOX VACCINES WILL ARRIVE IN ‘ANOTHER TWO WEEKS,’ AFTER MONTHS OF SEEKING DOSES

This 1997 image provided by the CDC during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, depicts the dorsal surfaces of the hands of a monkeypox case patient, who was displaying the appearance of the characteristic rash during its recuperative stage. 

This 1997 image provided by the CDC during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, depicts the dorsal surfaces of the hands of a monkeypox case patient, who was displaying the appearance of the characteristic rash during its recuperative stage.  (CDC via AP, File)

Such research, known as “gain-of-function,” is highly controversial, because it involves extracting viruses from animals to artificially engineer in a laboratory to make them more transmissible and deadly to humans. Proponents say these experiments can help scientists understand the nature of viruses and develop new treatments and vaccines. Skeptics warn that gain-of-function experiments are one lab accident away from causing another global pandemic

Moss did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

FOX NEWS POLL: MAJORITY SAYS BIDEN TRYING TO COVER UP ORIGINS OF COVID-19

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led a letter to acting NIH Director Lawrence Tabak demanding answers on a government-funded project involving a manipulated monkeypox virus. 

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led a letter to acting NIH Director Lawrence Tabak demanding answers on a government-funded project involving a manipulated monkeypox virus.  (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“Human disease associated with clade 2 or West African monkeypox virus infection is less severe and is associated with less than one percent mortality, whereas clade 1 or Congo Basin monkeypox infection has a 10 percent case fatality rate in unvaccinated persons,” the Republicans wrote. “Because of its significantly greater lethality, clade 1 or Congo Basin clade monkeypox viruses are regulated as select agents by the Federal Select Agents Program. Entities that possess, use, or transfer this agent must comply with the HHS Select Agent and Toxin Regulations unless there is an applicable exemption or exclusion. 

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“Thus,” the letter continues, “under these regulations, it would appear the clade 1 monkeypox virus experiment is a restricted experiment that must be reviewed by the Federal Select Agent Program, and may be further reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s (CDC’s) Intragovernmental Select Agents and Toxins Technical Advisory Committee (ISATTAC).” 

The Republicans want NIH officials and employees to testify about Moss’ project and other related matters. They gave NIH an April 13, 2023, deadline to respond to their inquiry. 

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DeSantis targets Biden in swing state Pennsylvania, says Democratic Party ‘dead’ in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took multiple jabs at President Biden on Saturday during a stump speech in Pennsylvania.

DeSantis, speaking at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference 2023, called Biden a “floundering leader” and said the president’s poor performance contributed to Republican gains. 

“We are in the highest percentage of the vote that any Republican candidate for governor has ever received in the history of the state of Florida,” DeSantis told the audience. “We were able to flip Democrat counties or urban counties like Miami-Dade County. And not only did we flip it, we won it by double digits.”

DISNEY THWARTS DESANTIS’ OVERSIGHT BOARD TAKEOVER USING BIZARRE LEGAL TIE TO KING CHARLES III OF ENGLAND

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference. (Screenshot/)

“It’s been a massive defeat for the Democratic Party,” the Florida governor said. “They did not want to see Florida go red. They threw everything but the kitchen sink to stop us. And yet, we have left the Democratic Party for dead in the state of Florida.”

The Florida governor has been walking a political tightrope for months as he refuses to officially declare his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

At the same time, he has butted heads with both the Biden administration and former President Donald Trump’s campaign — both of whom view him as a rival for the presidency.

TRUMP ALLIES STEP UP ATTACKS ON DESANTIS AHEAD OF 2024: ‘HE’S NOT READY TO BE PRESIDENT’

In speeches this year, the governor has pitched his numerous conservative policy victories in Florida as a roadmap for the entire nation. 

Sources in DeSantis’ wider orbit have said that any presidential campaign launch would come in the late spring or early summer, after the end of Florida’s current legislative session. 

However, the governor’s recent stops in the early-voting states of Iowa and Nevada and a trip next month to New Hampshire are sparking more 2024 speculation.

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President Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touring an area impacted by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, in October 2022.

President Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touring an area impacted by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, in October 2022. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

DeSantis said earlier this week that his state “will not assist” in any extradition request by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg amid what he called “questionable circumstances” while slamming the charges against Trump as “un-American” and a “weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda.” 

The former president and 2024 Republican presidential candidate was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on Thursday after a years-long investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

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Biden visits University of Pennsylvania campus for the first time since classified documents controversy

President Biden on Saturday visited the campus of the University of Pennsylvania for the first time since a controversy over the discovery of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center in Washington D.C.

Biden and first lady Jill Biden stopped by the university to visit Maisy Biden’s senior art show at a university gallery. It marks the first time Biden has visited the campus since the emergence in November of documents with classified markings at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C.

Those documents were said to be from the Obama-Biden administration and were discovered “unexpectedly” by Biden’s personal attorneys. The emergence of the documents was followed by assessments by the FBI and Department of Justice.

BIDEN HAS ‘NO COMMENT’ ON TRUMP INDICTMENT

President Biden talks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Friday, March 31, 2023, before boarding Marine One. 

President Biden talks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Friday, March 31, 2023, before boarding Marine One.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In January, the Department of Justice announced it was investigating the discovery of the documents, and Attorney General Merrick Garland said he was appointing Robert Hur as special counsel.

Attorneys also found batches of documents at Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware. Four batches of classified materials have been found in Biden’s possession in total, dating from both his time as vice president and as a senator from Delaware. 

DOJ SEARCHES BIDEN DELAWARE BEACH HOME AMID CLASSIFIED DOCUMENT INVESTIGATION

In February, FBI agents searched Biden’s vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for three and a half hours but did not find additional classified documents. The search was carried out on Hur’s first day on the job as special counsel.

Biden has addressed the controversy, saying his team is cooperating fully with the DOJ and suggested that his staff was to blame for not finding the documents when he left office in 2017.

WHITE HOUSE STONEWALLS FOX NEWS’ PETER DOOCY ON BIDEN CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS: ‘WHY DID HE DO IT?’

President Biden delivers remarks during a meeting with Democratic congressional leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Jan. 24, 2023. 

President Biden delivers remarks during a meeting with Democratic congressional leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Jan. 24, 2023.  (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“But one of the things that happened is that what was not done well is as they packed up my offices to move them, they didn’t do the kind of job that should have been done to go thoroughly through every single piece of literature that’s there,” Biden said. “But I’ll just let the investigation, you know, decide what’s going on, and we’ll see what happens.”

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House Republicans have promised to investigate Biden’s handling of classified materials, with Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., telling Fox News that “nothing that Joe Biden’s done with respect to mishandling these classified documents is normal.” 

Fox News’ Chris Pandolfo and Brianna Herlihy contributed to this report.

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