(Ben Sellers, Headline USA) A viral tweet from John Cardillo, a former NYPD officer turned conservative radio host and social-media influencer, called for an investigation into whether Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., may be clinically brain dead as Democrats engage in a cover-up to avoid a special election before August.
Being told that Fetterman is essentially brain dead and it’s being hidden because keeping him in office until August 18th avoids a special election which Republicans would most certainly win.
This must be investigated.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) February 25, 2023
Cardillo’s tweet made a significant splash on social media, garnering more than a million views and 18,000 likes as of Saturday night.
However, Headline USA was unable to verify the accuracy of the claim that Fetterman is clinically brain-dead—or whether Aug. 18 is the exact date that permits far-left Gov. Josh Shapiro to avoid calling a special election. It may be earlier.
Pennsylvania law stipulates that a special election must be held “at the time of the next general or municipal election, occurring at least ninety (90) days after the happening of such vacancy.”
According to Headline USA’s independent calculations, 90 days ahead of the next municipal election would be Aug. 9, indicating that Cardillo may have been off by a week and that the Fetterman vacancy would need to occur Aug. 10 (or later) to enable the governor’s replacement to hold the Senate seat until the end of 2024 rather than Nov. 7, 2023.
Headline USA reached out to both Cardillo and to Fetterman press secretary Joe Calvello, and we will update with any response.
Fetterman’s near-fatal stroke was widely concealed by and later downplayed by the media during his senatorial race last year, enabling him to handily defeat celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz on the strength of early mail-in balloting before the two had even debated.
After a brief hospital stay in early February, during which he ostensibly felt “lightheaded,” Fetterman reportedly checked himself into the hospital on Feb. 15 for clinical depression.
Reports indicated that he would likely remain in his convalescence for weeks.
Shapiro, however, has said he has no intention of asking Fetterman to resign and expects him to “come back stronger than ever,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Mainstream media coverage has largely heralded Fetterman for his bravery in being open about his struggles with mental illness rather than faulting him for covering it up during the election.
Democrats historically have had a difficult relationship with situations similar to Fetterman’s.
In the 1972 presidential election, Democrat vice-presidential nominee Thomas Eagleton’s history of receiving shock-therapy treatments was credited with helping sink candidate George McGovern’s bid to unseat incumbent President Richard Nixon.
Prior to that, in October 1919, a massive stroke by then-President Woodrow Wilson was concealed by his administration, allowing first lady Edith Wilson to reportedly run the White House.
Wilson’s private secretary, the unelected Joseph Tumulty, was said to have thought that then Vice President Thomas Marshall was not up to the task, while Edith Wilson disliked him for his “uncouthed” disposition.
Likewise, many have suspected that, if John Fetterman were incapacitated, Shapiro might appoint his wife, Gisele, to fill the spot.
While Gisele Fetterman has appeared to take an exceedingly active role in her husband’s campaign and governing, she seems to have had considerably less interest in his recovery process.
Rather than stay by his bedside, she reportedly took their three children recently on a zipline adventure in upstate New York.
Ben Sellers is the editor of Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/realbensellers.