Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman is reportedly using a letter from a political contributor as evidence that he is in good health. According to the Free Beacon, Dr. Clifford Chen said in a letter published by Fetterman’s team that he had “significantly improved” since his stroke and “can work full duty in public office.” His campaign released the letter, which it referred to as a “medical report,” after media outlets requested the candidate’s medical records.
Pennsylvania’s Senate race could determine which party controls the upper chamber and Chen’s political biases cast doubt on his evaluation of Fetterman’s health. Chen has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic politicians and party groups over the years. According to campaign finance reports, before becoming Fetterman’s physician, he gave $1,330 to Fetterman’s campaign, including a $500 gift in June 2021. Chen also contributed to other Democratic Senate candidates, including Rep. Val Demings of Florida and Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, who are both in close races.
Fetterman campaign spokesman Joe Calvello claimed, “This isn’t about politics. It’s an independent, detailed medical report written by John’s primary care doctor based on his latest office visit from last week.” The severity of Fetterman’s stroke was first minimized, but he has had difficulty speaking coherently and processing sound during campaign events and interviews. The stroke was caused by a heart problem he was diagnosed with in 2017 but did not reveal until after his health emergency.
In response to questions about Fetterman’s health, his followers have launched an attack on the media. His wife, Gisele, stated that the NBC News reporter who inquired about his stroke recovery and reliance on closed-captioning for interviews should face “consequences.” She also criticized the Washington Post editorial board for a recent article that said Fetterman had “squandered credibility” by withholding his medical data.