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PA Democrat John Fetterman Continues to Withhold Medical Records

The Democrat nominee for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, continues to withhold his medical records after multiple calls from local and national media to release them.

Fetterman suffered a serious stroke in May, days before winning the Democrat primary, and has struggled with his words during public appearances since. The candidate has acknowledged that he has “auditory processing” issues, and due to this, Fetterman said he “might miss a word every now and then” or he “might mush two together.” 

The Washington Post Editorial Board called on Fetterman to make public his medical records earlier this month. On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial Board did the same and pressed him to release the complete results of a cognitive test he recently took: 

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To reassure the public, Mr. Fetterman ought to release the full results of his cognitive tests and other medical records, and make his doctors available to the media. Mr. Oz should release his medical records, too.

So far, Mr. Fetterman’s campaign has reported a specific (and normal) score from his July Saint Louis University Mental Status Examination (SLUMS), but has said only that his more recent Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) test was “in the normal range.” The RBANS test results in distinct scores in five areas: immediate memory, visuospatial/constructional, language, attention and delayed memory. The campaign should tell voters how Mr. Fetterman performed in each category.

The day after the Post-Gazzette’s article, Oz received a physical from Dr. Rebecca J. Kurth M.D., ,P.C., and released the results Friday in a letter.

“In summary, Mehmet, you are in overall EXCELLENT health. Your examination is healthy, and the blood tests are all favorable,” wrote the doctor. Kurth reported his blood pressure as being 102/70 and provided a thorough and detailed analysis of the 62-year-old’s health history, including some past lumbar problems, knee cartilage issues, and the removal of a few colonic polyps over the past 11 years. Oz also provided an EKG from the visit, polyp pathology results from 2011, and letters from checkups in 2014 and 2018

After Oz made the records public Friday, Fetterman chimed in to attack him rather than releasing his own records as the Washington Post and Pittsburgh Post Gazette called on him to do. 

“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,” he began.

“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,” he added. 

“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 doctors over the opinion of a charlatan who played one on TV,” said Fetterman. 

Oz called Fetterman’s comments “desperate and pathetic.” 

“[Y]our hometown paper AND The Washington Post called on you to release your medical records, John, not me!” the Republican added. 

The letter Fetterman referred to was from his cardiologist, who provided a prognosis concerning his heart. Dr. Ramesh Chandra, M.D., FACC, made no explicit reference to Fetterman’s mental and cognitive status. Moreover, Chandra did not unequivocally say Fetterman was “fit to serve” but said he “should be able” to if he follows doctor’s orders.

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“The prognosis I can give for John’s heart is this: if he takes his medications, eats healthy, and exercises, he’ll be fine,” wrote Chandra. “If he does what I’ve told him, and I do believe he taking his recovery and health very seriously this time, he should be able to campaign and serve in the U.S. Senate without a problem.”

Fetterman’s campaign did not respond to NBC Philadelphia when asked if he would release his records.

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