Top Republican Lawmaker Reveals Cancer Diagnosis And Status Of Treatment Regimen
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 16: Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., speaks during a press conference on tax reform on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017.
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for next year’s governor race in New York, announced on Saturday that he has battled cancer since last November and has achieved complete remission from the disease.

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted about the news early Saturday morning, saying that Zeldin had informed a county-level GOP party about the diagnosis. She added, “He tells me it has no impact on his campaign for governor, and that he shared his own diagnosis because an official at the dinner had their own health struggles.”

Zeldin, a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Financial Services Committees and a United States Army veteran, confirmed the news later that afternoon.

Zeldin said in a statement:

Through early detection, last November, I was diagnosed with early stage chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). I then began treatment with an immediately positive response and no side effects. Over the last 9 months, I have achieved complete remission, am expected to live a normal life, and my doctor says I currently have no evidence of this disease in my system. My health is phenomenal and I continue to operate at 110%.

At no point have I slowed down at all and my lowest gear is always ALL IN. I have and will continue to execute all my duties in Congress and represent my constituents in NY- 1 at the highest level. I have also not missed any Army Reserve Duty as a result of this diagnosis.

I’m grateful for all of the men and women in the medical field who have not only treated me these past several months, but who pour their heart and soul into treating so many others in need of their expertise, energy, and passion. The medical field in our country is filled with the very best of society.

Congressman Zeldin’s Hematologist Jeffrey Vacirca, MD, FACP of New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, also made a statement on the diagnosis and confirmed that Zeldin has made a remarkable recovery.

“In November 2020, following a diagnosis of early chronic myeloid leukemia, Congressman Zeldin began targeted therapy, to which he immediately responded extraordinarily well and has achieved complete remission,” Vacirca said. “Successfully treated early chronic myeloid leukemia is now a chronic disease, which carries a normal life expectancy. Congressman Zeldin is incredibly healthy, is expected to enjoy a normal life and has no evidence of disease.”

Over the summer, Republican leaders from across the state of New York had voted overwhelmingly — a stunning 85% — to back Zeldin as their preferred choice for governor in next year’s race.

“Our county chairs & committee members gathered in Albany just participated in a straw poll on their favored gubernatorial candidate in 2022,” The New York Republican Party wrote on Twitter. “Congressman Lee Zeldin 85%. Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino 5%. Abstain 10%.”

“For so many New Yorkers, this is a last chance to Save Our State, to return New York from the brink and restore it to glory,” Zeldin said in a statement at the time. “Today’s vote underscores that the Republican Party is united in this mission, and in November 2022, we will win because we have to win.”

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