The attending physician at the U.S. Capitol Brian Monahan released a letter on Monday stating that Bernie Sanders is in “good health” after experiencing a heart attack in October.
“You are in good health currently and you have been engaging vigorously in the rigors of your campaign, travel, and other scheduled activities without any limitation,” Monahan wrote, noting that the Vermont senator is no longer required to take blood thinners or beta blockers, which prevent blood clots and manage abnormal heart rhythms. “Your heart muscle strength has improved,” he added. “The heart chamber sizes, wall thickness, estimated pressures, and heart valves are normal. Several 24-hour recordings of your heart electrical activity indicated no significant heat rhythm abnormality.”
The campaign also released notes from physicians Philip Ades, Patrick Savage, and Martin LeWinter at the University of Vermont, where Sanders underwent a cardiopulmonary exercise tolerance test in December; the CPET found that his performance “rated above average compared to a reference population of the same age.” In contrast to the senator’s campaign schedule, LeWinter called his recovery “uneventful.”
On October 2, the Sanders campaign canceled events after the senator experienced chest pain; at a Las Vegas hospital, “he was found to have a blockage in one artery and two stents were successfully inserted,” senior adviser Jeff Weaver said in a statement. After three days of silence while Sanders was in the hospital, his campaign revealed that he had suffered a heart attack, and announced that he would scale back his rigorous events schedule.
The letters are unlikely to stifle concern from critics of the progressive candidate, or anyone worried that four of the top five candidates in the 2020 race, as well as the incumbent, are in their 70s. After his heart attack, the Sanders campaign announced that the candidate would release “comprehensive” medical records by the end of the year, though physicians’ notes are not the same as detailed medical information:
The Sanders campaign noted that the information it had made public was similar to what other candidates have released; others in the 2020 class, including Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, have released similar physicians’ notes detailing good health.