democratic primaries

Sanders Spokesperson Compares Questions Over Medical Records to Birtherism

Bernie Sanders. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Three weeks after his heart attack last fall, Bernie Sanders said he would release his medical records by the end of 2019. “I want to make it comprehensive,” he said, explaining why he hadn’t already done so. But the medical records never came. Instead, the Sanders campaign released three letters from doctors last December declaring him in good health.

Now, Sanders says he won’t be releasing the “comprehensive” records at all.

Asked last week on Meet the Press if voters deserved to see his medical records before Super Tuesday, Sanders suggested that what has already been released is enough. “We have released a substantive part of all of our background,” he said. “We have doctors who are cardiologists who are confirming that I am in good health. I am in good health.”

Sanders, 78, was again pressed on the subject Tuesday at his CNN town hall in Las Vegas. And again, he said the matter was settled. “I think we have released a detailed medical report and I’m comfortable on what we have done,” Sanders said. He also said that the released about his medical history is similar to what Elizabeth Warren, 70, and Joe Biden, 77, have put out.

Asked one last time if he plans to release any more information on his medical history, he said, “I don’t think we will, no.”

Wednesday, the Sanders campaign began to push back on the requests for his medical records. In an appearance on CNN, Sanders press secretary Briahna Joy Gray called the questions about Sanders’s health a “smear campaign” and compared them to birtherism.

She also claimed that Michael Bloomberg should be getting the same questions since he’s “suffered heart attacks in the past.”

That’s not true, Bloomberg senior adviser Tim O’Brien tweeted Wednesday.

Gray later tweeted that she didn’t mean to say Bloomberg had a heart attack. Instead, she wrote, the billionaire “underwent the same stent procedure as Bernie.” According to a 2007 New York Times report, Bloomberg did in fact “have two stents implanted in a coronary artery because of blockage in his heart.” The surgery took place in 2000.

Expect more septuagenarian sniping about heart attacks at Wednesday’s debate.

Sanders Spox Compares Medical Records Pressure to Birtherism