The doctor who endorsed Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman’s health donated hundreds of dollars to his campaign.
The Fetterman campaign released a report from his primary care doctor Wednesday, saying that Fetterman is in good health and will be able to fulfill his duties as a senator if he is elected. But Dr. Clifford Chen has donated more than $1,300 to Fetterman’s camp, and totaled nearly $2,500 in donations to Democrats in closely contested races nationwide. The report is the latest development in Fetterman’s recovery from a massive stroke, which is front-and-center in the Pennsylvania Senate contest.
“Overall, the Lt. Governor is recovering well from his stroke and his health has continued to improve,” Chen wrote, noting that Fetterman’s physical exam was normal, and he has returned to normal strength and coordination in all four extremities. “He spoke intelligently without cognitive deficit. His speech was normal and he continues to exhibit symptoms of an auditory processing disorder which can come across as hearing difficulty. Occasional words he will ‘miss’ which seems like he doesn’t hear the word but it is actually not processed properly. His hearing of sound such as music is not affected. His communication is significantly improved compared to his first visit assisted by speech therapy which he has attended on a regular basis since the stroke.”
“I have spoken with his neurologist and cardiologist and he will follow-up with them routinely,” Chen added. “The Lt. Governor takes appropriate medications to optimize his heart condition and prevent future strokes. He also exercises routinely and can walk 4 to 5 miles regularly without difficulty. Overall, Lt. Governor Fetterman is well and shows strong commitment to maintaining good fitness and health practices. He has no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office.”
But Chen has been an active donor for Fetterman since he announced his candidacy in 2021. Public records from the Federal Elections Commission show that he donated $500 to Fetterman’s campaign in 2021, and a total of $830 in 2022, including a $100 contribution made on September 23.
Chen also has a history of donating to Democrats nationwide since 2014. According to FEC records, he donated more than $3,000 to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign; he donated to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, as well as the Senate campaigns of Georgia Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and Nancy Pelosi’s House race. This year, he also donated to Florida Democrat Val Demings’ Senate campaign. He is also frequent contributor to ActBlue, the Democratic Party’s campaign fundraising arm, and several Democratic campaign arms and PACs.
A spokesman for the Fetterman campaign dismissed concerns about Chen’s political ties. “This isn’t about politics – it’s an independent, detailed medical report written by John’s primary care doctor based on his latest office visit from last week,” Fetterman campaign spokesman Joe Calvello said, via Fox News. “Anybody baselessly attacking John’s doctor or questioning the standards and integrity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center system is grasping at straws because the issue that Dr. Oz staked his whole campaign on just fell apart today.”
Fetterman’s health garnered national attention again last week when, during an interview with NBC News, Fetterman was seen using a large monitor with closed captioning to read the interviewer’s words in order to compensate for his speech processing issues. The interviewer, reporter Dasha Burns, said that during the interview, Fetterman struggled with small talk as well.