Sen. Bernie Sanders — the 78-year-old Democratic socialist who suffered a heart attack in October while campaigning for president — has backtracked on a promise to release his full medical records.
“We have released, I think, quite as much as any other candidate has,” said Sanders. “We released two rather detailed letters from cardiologists and we released a letter that came from the head of the U.S. Congress medical group.”
But after his heart attack, Sanders promised to release his full health records “before the first votes are cast,” saying it was “the right thing to do.” That didn’t happen.
At the time, Sanders said on CNN that “people do have a right to know about the health of a senator and someone running for president. At the appropriate time, we’ll make all the medical records public for you or anyone else who wants to see them.”
The Hill also reported that Sanders said he’d put out extensive health records.
“We’ll release them, we always planned to release them. And we have more medical records obviously now, and we will release them at the appropriate time,” he said.
Question: "Plan to release your medical records sooner than originally planned now?"
Sen. Bernie Sanders: "We’ll release them, we always planned to release them. And we have more medical records obviously now, and we will release them at the appropriate time." pic.twitter.com/X8b0bWvnPc
— The Hill (@thehill) October 8, 2019
On Tuesday, Sanders joked that “If you think I’m not in good health, come on out with me on the campaign trail and I’ll let you introduce me to the three or four rallies a day that we do,” Raw Story reported.
But his campaign took offense at the repeated questions about the 2020 frontrunner’s health records, saying they are tantamount to “birtherism.”
“The campaign’s national press secretary, Briahna Joy Gray, compared requests for Sanders’ full medical records to the birtherism attacks volleyed at former President Barack Obama,” the Daily Beast reported.
Asked by CNN if people deserve to know more about Sanders’ health, Gray said: “I think the American people deserve to know exactly as much as every other candidate has released in this race currently and historically. What you’re seeing right now is really reminiscent of some of the smear and skepticism campaigns that have been run against a lot of different candidates in the past, questioning where they’re from and aspects of their lineage.”
The press secretary went on: “It’s really telling, given that none of the same concern is being demonstrated for Michael Bloomberg, who’s the same age as Bernie Sanders and has suffered heart attacks in the past.”
Health records have become a huge deal among the Democratic candidates running for the nomination.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, also 78, has been forced to deny that he has had a heart attack. On Gray’s claim that Bloomberg “has suffered heart attacks in the past,” Bloomberg adviser Tim O’Brien called that a “Trumpy lie.”
“Mike Bloomberg has *never* had a heart attack,” O’Brien wrote on Twitter. “Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has had a heart attack. Those are the facts. It’s a dangerous time when Sanders goes all in with Trumpism.”
This is such a Trumpy lie from the Sanders camp, which rolls like Trump in many ways.
Mike Bloomberg has *never* had a heart attack. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has had a heart attack.
Those are the facts.
It’s a dangerous time when Sanders goes all in with Trumpism. https://t.co/Yk6RlI8WaN
— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) February 19, 2020
Gray later clarified: “I mispoke when I said Bloomberg had a heart attack. Rather, he underwent the same stent procedure as Bernie. Bernie released 3 detailed medical reports in December — just like the other candidates.”
In 2000, Bloomberg underwent surgery to place coronary stents for a blocked artery, and he has an irregular heartbeat.