Oz releases health records to shed light on Fetterman’s stroke

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for the United States

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, has released his health records as he maneuvers to keep questions about Democratic rival John Fetterman’s recovery from a stroke at the center of the hotly contested campaign.

Dr Rebecca Kurth in New York wrote in a four-page letter obtained by The Associated Press that she found the 62-year-old heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity to be in “excellent health” during a checkup. annual health thursday.

The letter noted that Oz had “borderline high” but unchanged total cholesterol and referred to a hyperplastic lesion – cellular growths that could turn cancerous – removed from his colon in 2011. An electrocardiogram – a test that records signals electrics in the heart to detect heart problems – he had Thursday came out normal.

“Your exam is clear and the blood tests are favorable,” Kurth wrote. She did not recommend any medication.

The release of the health records comes as Oz tries to close a gap in the polls and increasingly makes Fetterman’s ability to serve a central theme in his campaign.

Fetterman, 53, has remained silent about releasing medical records or allowing reporters to interview his doctors, now more than four months after suffering a stroke in May that had lingering effects on his speech and hearing.

Fetterman’s campaign did not immediately comment on Friday.

The presidential battleground race to replace retired Republican Senator Pat Toomey could help determine control of the tightly divided Senate, and Democrats see it as perhaps their best opportunity to clinch a seat among a handful of tight races. at national scale.

While it is customary for presidential candidates to release health records, there is no such custom in the races for the US Senate. Some US senators have, in the past, released medical records when running for president.

In a statement, Oz said it released its medical records in the interests of transparency and that “voters should have full transparency regarding the health status of candidates running for office.”

Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, also questioned Fetterman’s veracity in disclosing the lingering effects of his stroke.

Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, says doctors expect him to fully recover from the stroke and improve quickly, cognitively unaffected and that he maintains the healthiest habits of his life.

Fetterman suffered a stroke on May 13, four days before easily winning his Democratic primary. His victory came hours after undergoing surgery to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator. Three weeks after the stroke, Fetterman revealed he was ‘nearly dead’ and released a statement from his cardiologist revealing he had a serious and life-threatening heart condition.

Fetterman has campaigned and spoken at public events, but avoids reporters, sometimes speaks hesitantly, truncates the occasional word, and has difficulty hearing through background noise and quickly processing what he hears. . He recently accepted a debate against Oz, which will be held on October 25, although Oz insisted on more.

Publicly, top Democrats, including President Joe Biden, have sought to calm party nerves over Fetterman’s condition, saying they’ve spoken to him and are confident he’s capable of serving.

Still, Fetterman has given reporters limited access to interview him directly, doing only a few interviews since the stroke, throughout the video with captioning to help with auditory processing.

In a 2016 Senate contest in Illinois, Democrat Tammy Duckworth released years of medical records amid questions about the fitness of Republican U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, who suffered a stroke in 2012.

Kirk was still suffering from the effects of the stroke four years later and, like Fetterman, did not provide access to his doctors or medical records. Still, Duckworth said in a debate that she thought Kirk was capable of doing the job but “the problem is he doesn’t.”

Near the end of the race, Kirk’s campaign published a one-page letter from an attending physician who said the senator had made “full cognitive recovery” while still speaking tentatively, addressing the limited use of his left leg and inability to use his left arm. , the Chicago Tribune reported at the time.

Kirk ended up losing his bid for re-election.


Follow Marc Levy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/timelywriter.


Follow the AP for full midterm election coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ap_politics.

Marc Levy, Associated Press


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