The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette urged both candidates campaigning for the U.S. Senate to release their medical records in an op-ed published earlier this week. Republican Mehmet Oz released his medical records on Friday. Democrat John Fetterman did not. He still refuses to do so and Ed has a post coming up on Fetterman’s stubbornness a little later.
It was a reasonable request from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It’s the same thing that many observers of the race have said since Fetterman suffered a stroke, was hospitalized for about a week, and then recovered from home. He was secluded from media attention while recovering, with his wife serving as the gatekeeper. Once Fetterman resurfaced and slowly began campaigning again, it was obvious that his stroke was not a mild one to be brushed off as no big deal, as his campaign tried to insist. It’s clear when you listen to him speak that the man still has a way to go to speak normally and appear to comprehend conversations more normally.
To his credit, Oz let it go for quite a while without commenting on Fetterman’s absence on the campaign trail or about the stroke in general. He’s a retired cardiothoracic surgeon who understands medical conditions and recovery. However, Oz is running for political office now and he couldn’t keep quiet forever. He has recently begun to talk about his questions on Fetterman’s fitness for office. Is Fetterman healthy enough to do the job? The job requires long hours and frequent travel. Is Fetterman up to the stress? It’s a legitimate concern for Oz to bring up.
So, as he promised to do when the op-ed was published, Oz released his medical report today. He promised to do so by the end of the week, though the op-ed was published only two days ago. He released a letter from his doctor that affirms his health. His campaign also released doctors letters from 2014 to 2018 and a heart EKG report from this year. Oz said he wanted full transparency.
“In the interest of full transparency over my own health, I saw my doctor again to get the most current appraisal of my health status. I agree that voters should have full transparency when it comes to the health status of candidates running for office,” Oz said in a statement.
Dr. Rebecca Kuth wrote in her check up of Oz on Thursday that, “You report overall excellent health. On exam here, your blood pressure was in the normal range at 102/70. Your weigh (182 pounds) is at the upper normal range for your height, giving you a body mass index, BMI or ratio of weight to height, of 25 (ideal BMI range is 19 – 24). The rest of your exam is fine.”
There is no breaking news there and none was expected.
The race is Fetterman’s to lose. It is shocking that Pennsylvanians would prefer a socialist-wannabe in the style of Bernie Sanders but polls have consistently had Fetterman in the lead.
Polls have consistently shown Fetterman in the lead, including one from Muhlenberg College and Morning Call released Thursday that showed Oz trailing by 5 points. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report last month moved the race from “toss up” to “lean Democratic.”
Fetterman responded to Oz’s medical record release in his typical ham-handed manner. He honed in on the fact that Oz has a doctor in New York.
In a statement reacting to the released doctors’ letters, Fetterman doubled down on painting Oz as a carpetbagger — a favorite talking point of his — pointing to the fact that the Republican candidate saw a doctor in New York. He also said he has already provided some proof that he was fit to run for Senate.
“Today Dr. Oz confirmed that he does not actually live in Pennsylvania, because no one who does would have a primary care doctor on 5th Avenue in Manhattan,” Fetterman said. “We didn’t need to know Dr. Oz’s bone density. We need to know whether he would vote to ban all abortions after 15 weeks. We need to know whether he would vote to raise the minimum wage. We need to know whether he even plans to stay in Pennsylvania after the election.”
“In June, I released a letter from my doctor where he clearly stated that I am fit to serve. Dr. Oz built his entire career by lying to people about health. I trust my actual doctor over the opinion of a charlatan who played one on TV,” he added.
It’s a little cringey that Fetterman continues to pretend he’s just a regular kind of guy when he lived off his wealthy parents for most of his life, even after getting married. Whatever you may think of some of the products Oz has chosen to endorse, his biography is far more compelling than Fetterman’s. Fetterman comes off as a spoiled brat who can’t even be bothered to dress appropriately for the job he wants. I expect Oz will lose this race and that’s a win for Democrats. Senator Toomey, the Republican senator who is retiring, will be replaced by a Bernie bro unless Pennsylvanians come to their senses and choose someone who is fit and able to do the job.