“I think he deserves a month off to come back as strong as ever,” Giselle Fetterman said in an interview with CNN. “It’s going to be a tough race and a very important race. I want him to be fully prepared for that.”
When asked if John Fetterman, who is Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, will return to campaign by July in one of the country’s major Senate contests, she replied: “Maybe. I think so. . That’s my hope.”
In an interview in their hometown of Braddock, just outside Pittsburgh, Giselle Fetterman dismissed the idea that the campaign hadn’t been completely transparent about her husband’s health. She initially described her stroke as hiccups and the severity of her illness was not revealed until 17 days later.
“It’s still a hiccup,” she said Monday. “Families go through health crises. Our family is not unique in what we went through, only we had to go through it very publicly.”
Despite multiple statements during and after his hospital stay, John Fetterman has not previously revealed that he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in 2017. And while his cardiologist’s letter released on Friday gave insight into What led to Fetterman’s stroke, doctors who performed the procedure on the candidate in Lancaster last month have yet to speak publicly.
The candidate said in a statement last week that his doctors had instructed him “to rest, eat healthy, exercise and focus on my recovery” and, because of this, he “will take more time to get back to the countryside as I was preparing for the primary.”
Giselle Fetterman said Monday they released information as soon as they received it, saying, “I think we’ve been incredibly transparent.”
“I just want people to remember that we’re real people. It’s a real family with kids watching the news, following everything, and the second we get new information, we push it out,” she said. “That’s why we shared the latest doctor’s statement. As soon as we had it (got) available, it came out. I think it’s important to share. Not only because I think transparency is important , but because I hope it inspires others to take action on their own health.”
She said the stroke, which she discovered after seeing her husband’s lips twitch in a peculiar way as they walked to a campaign event in the days before the primary election, was an alarm signal.
“It was. I hate that he had to learn it the hard way,” she said. “I’m grateful he’s alive and making a full recovery.”
And when asked if she could imagine a scenario where he couldn’t resume campaigning in one of the nation’s most watched contests, in which he takes on Republican candidate Mehmet Oz, she quickly said no.
“I don’t see that, but more importantly his doctors don’t see that,” she said. “They are all confident that he will make a full recovery.”
She also said the campaign did not object to the release of more information by the team of doctors in Lancaster who treated her husband for the stroke, but said the policy of the General Hospital of Lancaster was not to talk about patient care.
“We asked, but it’s not hospital protocol,” she said. “It doesn’t depend on us, we asked. It depends on their policies.”
CNN’s Dan Merica contributed to this report.