News emerged on Friday night that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) suffered a heart attack earlier this week — which required the 2020 Democratic candidate to be hospitalized in Nevada until his release on Friday evening.
Doctors admitted for the first time that Sanders, 78, had suffered a heart attack.
“I want to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at the Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center for the excellent care that they provided,” Sanders said in a statement, as Fox News and other outlets reported.
“After two-and-a-half days in the hospital, I feel great, and after taking a short time off, I look forward to getting back to work,” the candidate also said.
An aide also confirmed the senator would be participating in the next Democratic primary debate — to be held in mid-October in Ohio.
See the tweet below.
I want to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at the Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center for the excellent care that they provided. After two and a half days in the hospital, I feel great, and after taking a short time off, I look forward to getting back to work. pic.twitter.com/HjBc9LPjo4
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 4, 2019
Sanders’ presidential campaign had announced on Wednesday that he was recovering from emergency surgery he underwent the day before to repair a blocked artery.
It was only on Friday the campaign released statements from the candidate’s doctors acknowledging he had been diagnosed with a myocardial infarction — also known as a heart attack.
“After presenting to an outside facility with chest pain, Sen. Sanders was diagnosed with a myocardial infarction,” said the doctors, Arturo Marchand Jr. and Arjun Gururaj, in a statement.
“He was immediately transferred to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center.”
They added that Sanders is making “progress.”
— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) October 4, 2019
“The senator was stable upon arrival and taken immediately to the cardiac catheterization laboratory, at which time two stents were placed in a blocked coronary artery in a timely fashion,” the doctors said. “All other arteries were normal.”
“His hospital course was uneventful with good expected progress.”
“He was discharged with instructions to follow up with his personal physician,” the medical professionals continued.
Thanks for all the well wishes. I'm feeling good. I'm fortunate to have good health care and great doctors and nurses helping me to recover.
None of us know when a medical emergency might affect us. And no one should fear going bankrupt if it occurs. Medicare for All!
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 2, 2019
It remains to be seen how all of this will impact the rest of the Sanders 2020 campaign.
Some people immediately speculated that fellow progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) would grab precious votes away from Sanders — though everyone wishes the Vermont senator a speedy and successful recovery.
Warren has been gaining traction of late, especially against fellow candidate Joe Biden, the former vice president.
“The broader implications were also thrust into plain view,” noted Politico on Friday night. “In a Democratic primary that was once expected to break along generational lines, a whole crop of younger contenders has fallen so far back that — even with an aging, top-tier contender laid up — it would take an upset for the party to mount a generational argument against Trump next year.”
Biden, Sanders and Warren — the youngest of the three at 70 — “are pulling nearly three-quarters of the primary electorate’s support in national polling,” Politico also noted. “And even if Sanders stumbles, no younger alternative is likely to benefit.”
“Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days,” Sanders’ senior adviser Jeff Weaver said earlier in the week in a statement after the first round of medical news.
“We are canceling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates.”
The campaign had stressed the “good spirits” — but “until further notice” also carries an ominous note.
Sanders is 78.
Back in March, he bumped his head and had to have stitches, Fox News reported.
“It is the second time this cycle that Sen. Sanders … has had to deal with some medical issues on the trail,” Peter Doocy of Fox News reported on Wednesday morning.
“During a campaign event yesterday evening, Sen. Sanders experienced some chest discomfort,” the Sanders campaign statement also said earlier this week.
“Following medical evaluation and testing, he was found to have a blockage in one artery and two stents were successfully inserted.”
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