John Fetterman, the Democrat running for US Senate in Pennsylvania, has defended his refusal to release in-depth medical records, following questions about his fitness as he recovers from a serious stroke.
‘We have shown more, and shared more kinds of medical evaluation, more than virtually anyone unless you’re running for the president,’ Fetterman told CBS Evening News on Thursday.
However, Fetterman has resisted calls to release detailed medical records or allow interviews with his doctors, instead pointing to a one-page doctor’s note he put out last month saying he had ‘no work restrictions’ and ‘can work full duty in public office.’
Dr. Mehmet Oz, Fetterman’s Republican rival in the race, in September released a four-page letter from his doctor after the editorial boards of The Washington Post and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called on both candidates to release their medical records.
Fetterman, 53, insists he is fit to serve after suffering a stroke in May that left him with auditory processing issues, making it difficult for him to understand spoken words at times.
‘We already knew that was going to be a challenge, given somebody that’s in recovery after having a stroke. It’s also been — it’s been a challenge for my family too,’ Fetterman told CBS.
John Fetterman, the Democrat running for US Senate in Pennsylvania, has defended his refusal to release in-depth medical records as he recovers from a serious stroke
Dr. Mehmet Oz, Fetterman’s Republican rival in the race, in September released a four-page letter from his doctor, after calls for both candidates to release medical records
As he has in prior interviews and his October 25 debate with 62-year-old Oz, Fetterman once again used large screens displaying captions of the interviewer’s questions.
CBS also revealed that the captions were written by a human stenographer who sits behind the scenes and types out the conversation in real time.
Fetterman has explained that he does not have hearing difficulty, but rather has lingering issues understanding spoken conversation, which the written captions help him comprehend.
The effects of Fetterman’s stroke were on full display during the debate, as he struggled to get through some sentences and gave some confusing arguments for his stances, including whether he is for or against fracking.
He also faced criticism following an NBC News interview last month that first showed the candidate using written captioning to better understand the questions being posed to him.
Fetterman’s wife Gisele said the criticism is insulting to people with disabilities and demanded apologies from press outlets that raised concerns over the health of the Democratic candidate.
In Thursday’s interview, Fetterman once again used large screens displaying captions of the interviewer’s questions. The written captions help him understand spoken words
CBS also revealed the captions were written by a human stenographer (seen above) who sits behind the scenes and types out the conversation in real time
A new poll from The Hill/Emerson College shows Dr. Mehmet Oz pulled ahead of Democrat rival John Fetterman for the first time – with just days until the 2022 midterms
Those arguments did not sway the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the largest newspaper in Fetterman’s home county, which on Sunday endorsed Oz’s candidacy.
‘Mr. Fetterman’s health — he suffered a serious stroke in May — is not the issue. His lack of transparency, however, in refusing to release his medical records is troubling,’ the Post-Gazette wrote in its endorsement. ‘It suggests an impulse to conceal and a mistrust of the people.’
‘All candidates for a major elected office should release their medical records, as did Mr. Oz,’ they added. ‘If you want privacy, don’t run for public office.’
Fetterman’s team, when reached for comment, pointed out to DailyMail.com that Oz’s ‘hometown’ paper the Philadelphia Inquirer endorsed the Democratic candidate.
Fetterman’s campaign has accused Oz, a longtime New Jersey resident, of being a ‘carpetbagger’, which is a negative term describing a candidate seeking office in a place where they have few ties.
In Thursday’s interview, Fetterman also hit back at Oz over the Republican’s claims that he is soft on crime, a theme that Oz has made his closing argument of the campaign.
‘I would say that there’s things called the Oz rule, that when he’s on TV he’s lying,’ said Fetterman, referring to Oz’s long career as a celebrity doctor with a history of making dubious medical claims.
‘I am the only candidate in this race that actually had hands-on kinds of experience against, fighting against crime,’ he said.
‘I was the four-term mayor of a community for almost 14 years, and I made gun violence as really at the center of all of my focus,’ he added.
Fetterman grew up in York, Pennsylvania, but his adopted hometown of Braddock is where he served as mayor from 2006-2019. He left his mayoral post to become Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania for Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.
Fetterman has pointed to this one-page doctor’s note he put out last month saying he had ‘no work restrictions’ and ‘can work full duty in public office.’
On June 3, Fetterman released a letter from his cardiologist who said he could serve ‘without a problem’ but noted he ‘did not go to any doctor for 5 years’ and failed to take his medication
‘We’re gonna make our argument to the — to the very end,’ said Fetterman.
The open Senate seat Fetterman and Oz are competing for is being vacated by Republican Senator Pat Toomey.
With the Senate currently divided 50-50, the Pennsylvania race could be decisive in determining which party gains control of the chamber for the next two years.
The latest poll in the race, released Thursday, showed Oz taking a lead over Fetterman for the first time, days before the November 8 election.
The two point gap – 48 percent to 46 percent – continues a steady improvement for Oz, whose support from likely Pennsylvanian voters has increased by 5 percentage points since September, according to polling from The Hill/Emerson College.
Meanwhile, Fetterman’s support only ticked up by 1 percent in the latest poll taken October 28-31, from his level in September.
The split between the two candidates remains within the poll’s plus or minus 3 percentage point margin of error.