Fetterman's Hometown Paper: Release Medical Records (Newsmax)
By Jack Gournell | Thursday, 22 September 2022 04:53 PM EDT
Pennsylvania's Democrat Senate candidate John Fetterman should release his medical records, the editorial board of his hometown newspaper said Wednesday.
Fetterman, who faces Republican Mehmet Oz in November, suffered a stroke earlier this year. His doctor said he suffers from atrial fibrillation, or Afib, a condition in which the heart beats irregularly, and cardiomyopathy, which makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.
Fetterman initially downplayed the seriousness of the stroke, but later admitted, "I almost died" from not following his doctor's advice when first diagnosed.
Oz, a celebrity doctor with a syndicated TV show who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has questioned Fetterman's fitness for office since the stroke, noting he had taken a long time to return to the campaign trail.
Even now that Fetterman has returned to campaigning, his staff admits he still has audio-related cognitive issues from the stroke. He has put off debating Oz until Oct. 25, after many mail-in ballots have been cast.
The Wednesday editorial in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes Fetterman's argument that the date is close to the traditional time of such debates, but adds, "That was before the days of mail-in voting. The [Fetterman] campaign also argues more than 80% of votes tend to be cast in the last two weeks, but that leaves nearly one in five voters out of the loop.
"Further delays in scheduling a debate between U.S. Senate candidates John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz have raised more questions about Mr. Fetterman's health, including his ability to communicate and process information," the board writes. "He has increased his public appearances, but his speech remains halting, and he repeats key phrases like mantras."
To reassure the public, the board says "Mr. Fetterman ought to release the full results of his cognitive tests and other medical records, and make his doctors available to the media. Mr. Oz should release his medical records, too."
Voters "don't expect a perfect performance from Mr. Fetterman," the editorial continues, noting that voters "understand he is still recovering from a serious medical condition" and will "cut him some slack, if he's transparent about his health."
After much debate over a debate date, Fetterman requested aid because of his ongoing auditory issues. The Oz campaign agreed, but countered that the debate should be extended from 60 minutes to 90 minutes to make up for the time it would take to translate the questions for Fetterman.
Fetterman's campaign so far has rejected the time extension.