HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – President Pro Tempore of the Senate Jake Corman will temporarily assume the duties of acting lieutenant governor as Lt. Governor John Fetterman undergoes a procedure to receive a pacemaker.
Fetterman suffered a stroke and remains hospitalized in Lancaster in the midst of campaigning for U.S. Senate when he fell ill on Friday.
According to Fetterman’s campaign, the Lt. Governor completed a “successful procedure” to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator. The procedure began at 3:15 and he was out of surgery shortly before 6 p.m.
“He is resting at the hospital and recovering well. John continues to improve every day, and he is still on track for a full recovery.”
The procedure to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator came after Fetterman’s heart was “in an A-fib rhythm for too long,” leading to the stroke.
Acting Lt. Governor Corman recently dropped out of the Republican race for Governor after a months-long campaign.
“We continue to wish the lieutenant governor the very best as he continues to focus on his health and recovery,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “However, as the lieutenant governor undergoes a standard procedure, there is a process in place to ensure that our government remains fully operational. This is a short-term transfer of power, and we hope and expect the lieutenant governor to resume his duties very soon.”
Per Pennsylvania law, a declaration was sent from a majority of designated cabinet secretaries and the President Pro Tempore to the General Assembly stating that the lieutenant governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. The declaration was sent this afternoon after the governor was informed that the lieutenant governor was going to undergo a standard procedure.
Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman may return to his powers and duties four days after a written declaration is sent by his office to the General Assembly noting that no disability exists.
Corman tweeted Tuesday night that he is “continuing to follow news of the Lieutenant Governor’s health and wishing him well as he undergoes this new procedure. @JohnFetterman we are all praying for you and look forward to seeing you back at the rostrum soon!”
Fetterman says his wife Gisele spotted the symptoms and got him to the hospital where they removed the clot, reversed the stroke, and got his heart under control.
Fetterman says doctors believe he didn’t “suffer any cognitive damage” and that he’s “feeling much better.”
Fetterman, 52, released a video on social media appearing to be in good spirits at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital a day prior. His campaign also released a picture of him filing an emergency absentee ballot at the hospital.
Fetterman’s wife Gisele released another video on social media with more details on Fetterman’s condition. She said he is taking some time to rest and thanked the doctors at Lancaster General Hospital for their care.
“I guess when your heart is that big and it carries so much love for his state, sometimes it asks for a rest,” she said in the video.
Questions about Fetterman’s health swirled throughout the weekend after he canceled scheduled public appearances Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. His campaign cited a health issue but was not specific until Sunday.
Fetterman, who is 6-foot-8, has been open about his push to lose weight in the past. He weighed in at over 400 pounds before losing nearly 150 pounds in 2018.