Doctor Fetterman: Candidate is in good health, ‘no work restrictions’

The attending physician for Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) said in a new letter that his recovery from a stroke he suffered in May is progressing well and that he has “no work restrictions and is able to function fully in public service.”

Clifford Chen, a physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), wrote in a medical report that an examination on Friday showed that the Democratic Senate candidate maintained “good fitness and health practices” during his recovery and that his vital signs organs appear healthy.

“He spoke intelligently with no cognitive deficits. His speech was normal and he continues to exhibit symptoms of auditory processing disorder, which can manifest as difficulty hearing. Random words that he would ‘skip,’ which looks like he doesn’t hear the word, but isn’t actually processing it properly,” Chen wrote. “His hearing for sounds like music is not affected.”

“His communication has greatly improved since his first visit, aided by a speech therapist he has been seeing regularly since the stroke,” Chen continued. “Overall, Lt. Governor Fetterman is doing well and shows a strong commitment to maintaining good fitness and health practices. He has no work restrictions and can work fully in a public service.

The report marked the first time the campaign released medical information from someone who had examined Fetterman since June, maintaining since then that he was in good health. It also comes exactly one week before Fetterman and Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee, hold their first and only debate in Harrisburg. Fetterman will use closed captioning for the event, which he used during interviews after suffering a stroke.

Rebecca Katz, a senior adviser to Fetterman, said in a statement that the inspection was “nothing but good news.”

“By all accounts, John is making great progress in his recovery and is doing everything he needs to to live a healthy life.” John is now fully ready to serve and is still improving every day,” Katz said. “It’s not easy recovering from a stroke in public — let alone doing it while running in the highest Senate race in the country — but John has worked hard to get here, and it shows.”

Fetterman told The Philadelphia Inquirer’s editorial board last week that there is “no guarantee” he will “ever be 100 percent.”

“But I was able to work and give you an interview here today or get up in front of 3,000 people. To me, that’s the ultimate transparency,” Fetterman continued.

“Since my stroke five months ago, one of the best parts of this campaign has been the incredible number of Pennsylvanians who have shared their own stories with us about the major health issues they’ve faced and overcome in their lives. It reminds me why I’m fighting to lower health care costs and make sure every Pennsylvanian can spend more time with the people they love,” Fetterman added in a statement after Chen’s letter was released.

The Philadelphia Inquirer was the first to report Chen’s letter.

According to the latest AARP poll, Fetterman leads Oz 48% to 46% as the race has narrowed in recent months. The previous AARP poll, conducted in June, showed Fetterman with a 6-point lead, but Republicans have narrowed the gap after a steady barrage of ads attacking the lieutenant governor for his position and actions on crime.

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