Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and current Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman had a stroke in May shortly before the primary and fortunately, he is recovering.
But a lot of people, even some in the media, have raised questions because they feel they weren’t hearing the whole story behind the stroke from the Fetterman team–that the details that had been released indicated more serious issues that hadn’t been enunciated.
The Fetterman campaign had said previously that the pacemaker was helping regulate his atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm also known as A-fib, which led to his stroke in May. But outside doctors said that defibrillators are not used to treat A-fib, and questioned if he had another heart condition.
As Townhall noted, even Democrats were puzzled about what was going on because they weren’t getting answers from him on when he would be back on the trail.
Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman does not have a timetable for returning to the campaign trail, sparking some worries in the party nearly three weeks after he suffered a stroke and surgeons implanted a pacemaker with a defibrillator to regulate his heartbeat.
Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, has appeared publicly only in recorded video since the stroke. His wife is speaking to the media on his behalf. And the situation has prompted Democrats to refresh their knowledge of state ballot-replacement law — the deadline is in August — according to two party sources who said they don’t anticipate a candidate switch being necessary.
Still, some of Fetterman’s fellow Democrats say they are worried both about his health and what they describe as a lack of transparency from his team about just what happened when he was hospitalized last month.
According to the report, Democratic Party folks said they were “very nervous” and others were looking at the question of what they might have to do to switch candidates.
But then, Fetterman dropped a letter and made a statement Friday.
The letter from one of his doctors, Dr. Ramesh Chandra, was, in a word, a doozy. Worth the full read.
John Fetterman, who has been criticized for not providing more details about his health following his stroke, releases a letter from his doc saying he was first diagnosed in 2017 with an irregular heart rhythm. Said he ignored doctor’s advice for five years until he had a stroke pic.twitter.com/1LpZ1J214S
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 3, 2022
The doctor said he had first seen Fetterman back in 2017 for swelling in his feet, at which point he diagnosed “atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm along with a decreased heart pump.” He prescribed medications, along with diet and exercise, and asked Fetterman to follow up with him in the following months.
He wrote: “Instead, I did not see him again until yesterday. John did not go to any doctor for 5 years and did not continue taking his medications.” The doctor noted that Fetterman was now stable, and he has a “pacemaker-defibrillator.” He said he had spoken with Fetterman the day before, and that while afib was the cause of his stroke, he also has cardiomyopathy, which is why he has the pacemaker. That’s part of what they hadn’t been revealing. The doctor said if Fetterman takes his medications, eats right, exercises, and does what the doctor says, he should be fine.
Fetterman released a letter himself, saying essentially he’d learned his lesson and could have died. But he also said he still wasn’t ready to get back on the campaign trail.
JUST IN: In a statement, @JohnFetterman admits "I almost died" because he didn't take care of his health well enough. Didn't see a doctor for 5 years. Releases doc note that says if he stays healthy "he should be able to campaign and serve in the U.S. Senate without a problem." pic.twitter.com/J2NgCvOfCl
— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) June 3, 2022
But there’s something still a little odd about this. Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who’s an interventional cardiologist (and a CNN medical analyst), laid it out — why is the letter from a doctor who hadn’t seen him in five years until the day before, rather than the doctors who treated him for the stroke and/or who put in the pacemaker? As such, it’s still missing details.
Not a great letter. First of all it’s not from the docs who treated Fetterman last month. It’s from someone who saw him in 2017 & not again until yesterday who basically says “Don’t blame me”. Doesn’t describe residual neuro deficit or why ICD was implanted during that admission. https://t.co/6XilcLyhXQ
— Jonathan Reiner (@JReinerMD) June 3, 2022
Bottom line? It’s good that he’s finally getting treatment and he’s stable. But they appear to have tried to buffalo people here as to his health, and only came out with a statement after it was obvious that even Democrats were having issues with what was going on. Even now, we’re still not getting the whole story. So, big issues of transparency here.
As Red State reported in a breaking story earlier, Fetterman will face TV personality and surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz in the midterms, as GOP opponent, businessman David McCorkmick conceded the primary on Friday.
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