Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland announced late Sunday night that he was recovering from “a minor stroke,” the second Democratic lawmaker to fall ill from the ailment this year.
The news highlighted the delicate balance of power in a chamber where Democrats hold a 50-50 majority and the loss of even a single vote could have momentous impact, and impede President Biden’s agenda.
Van Hollen, aged 63, stated in a statement posted on Twitter that he had been admitted to George Washington University Hospital, which is in the District of Columbia, “after experiencing lightheadedness and acute neck pain.” An angiogram showed that he had had a “minor stroke in the form of a small venous tear” at the back of his head.
But he said that there would be “no long-term effects or damage.”
Van Hollen indicated that he would be reducing his work schedule and will remain under observation for several days. This was because he is too cautious. According to the statement, he planned to return to Senate this week.
In February, Senator Ben Ray Luján, 49, Democrat of New Mexico, also announced that he had had a stroke, checking himself into the hospital after experiencing dizziness and fatigue.
Carlos Sanchez, his chief-of-staff, stated in a statement that Mr. Luján had “suffered a stroke in the cerebellum, affecting his balance.” The statement added, “As part of his treatment plan, he subsequently underwent decompressive surgery to ease swelling.”
Van Hollen, a progressive Democrat and lawyer, was previously elected to Congress in 2002. He was a member in the Democratic House leadership and, from 2007 to 2011, he led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. This committee aims to help the party win or keep House seats. He played a similar role in the organization of efforts to win Senate elections after his 2016 election to the Senate.
Mr. Van Hollen’s announcement about a stroke came amid the hotly contested midterm elections. Democrats are fighting to keep their House majority and cannot afford to lose Senate seats.
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, who is running for the state’s Democratic Senate nomination, announced on SundayHe said that he suffered a stroke Friday. “The good news is I’m feeling much better, and the doctors tell me I didn’t suffer any cognitive damage,” he said on Twitter. “I’m well on my way to a full recovery.”
His opponents on the Republican side are Kathy Barnette (a conservative commentator and hard-righter); Dr. Mehmet Oz, a retired doctor and television personality who was backed by former President Donald J. Trump, and David McCormick (a former manager of a hedge fund).
Austin RamzyContributed reporting
Source: NY Times