Sanders undergoes heart procedure, cancels campaign events

Sanders
SCOTT EISEN/GETTY IMAGES/TNS
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) shakes hands with supporters following his event at Plymouth State University on Sept. 29 in Plymouth, New Hampshire.

BY MATT PEARCE AND ALEXA DÍAZ
LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders indefinitely canceled future campaign appearances after he experienced chest pain and underwent a heart procedure following an event in Las Vegas on Tuesday, according to his campaign.

“During a campaign event yesterday evening, Sen. Sanders experienced some chest discomfort. Following medical evaluation and testing he was found to have a blockage in one artery, and two stents were successfully inserted,” Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ senior adviser, said Wednesday in a statement.

“Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days,” the statement said, but it went on to say that the campaign would cancel events and appearances “until further notice.”

The other Democratic candidates sent well wishes to the independent senator from Vermont as the news sent a jolt through the political world on Wednesday morning.

At 78, Sanders is the oldest candidate in the 2020 presidential primary and would be the oldest president ever elected were he to win, and his hospitalization is likely to raise questions about his ability to maintain an aggressive campaign schedule as he seeks the nation’s highest office.

Sanders is a year older than Biden, but has not faced as many pointed questions about his age and health. Neither has Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who is 70, but who usually runs to the podium at her campaign rallies.

HEALTH QUESTIONS

After the third presidential debate in September, during which Julian Castro made a thinly veiled attack on Biden’s age by questioning his memory, all three of the septuagenarian candidates pledged to release their medical records.

President Donald Trump is 73 and has faced occasional questions about his own physical health, and 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, then 68, received intense scrutiny during the campaign when she was seen needing the help of aides after she contracted pneumonia while campaigning.

Sanders visited a walk-in clinic and got seven stitches in March after he cut his head on the edge of a shower door.

“@DrBiden and I are sending our best wishes to @BernieSanders, Jane, and the whole Sanders family,” Biden wrote in a tweet. “Anyone who knows Bernie understands what a force he is. We are confident that he will have a full and speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him on the trail soon.”

“Bruce, Team Warren, and I are sending all our best wishes for a speedy recovery to @BernieSanders,” Warren tweeted. “I hope to see my friend back on the campaign trail very soon.”

“All of us here at @PeteForAmerica are sending our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Senator @BernieSanders,” tweeted South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, one of the youngest candidates in the race. “We’re thinking of him and his family today, and I look forward to seeing him back on the campaign trail very soon.”

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