Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, has quite clearly struggled with his recovery from a stroke in May, particularly with his hearing and speaking in clear and coherent sentences.
Fetterman was cleared for “full duty in public office” by his personal physician over the weekend, but it has since been revealed that the ailing candidate’s doctor is also a campaign donor, Breitbart reported.
That quite obviously raises questions about whether the physician’s clearance is actually based on an objective and unbiased analysis or instead is a politically motivated gambit to help bolster the struggling nominee just weeks ahead of Election Day.
Fetterman’s physician clears candidate for “full duty”
Dr. Clifford Chen, who became Lt. Gov. Fetterman’s primary care physician after his stroke in May, wrote on Saturday a “medical report” that was really just a letter to the Fetterman campaign that provided an update on the candidate’s health following a recent exam and was subsequently released to the public by the campaign.
The letter stated that Fetterman was “recovering well” from his stroke and has “continued to improve” health-wise, and Chen wrote that “He spoke intelligently without cognitive deficits. His speech was normal and he continues to exhibit symptoms of an auditory processing disorder which can come across as hearing difficulty.”
The doctor went on to assert that Fetterman’s “communication is significantly improved” since his first visit thanks to regular speech therapy sessions, and essentially granted his patient a clean bill of health.
News: @JohnFetterman releases an updated medical report after a visit with his primary care doctor.
Letter via his campaign 👇 pic.twitter.com/i75J7utrR0
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) October 19, 2022
“I have spoken with his neurologist and cardiologist and he will follow up with them routinely. The Lt. Governor takes appropriate medications to optimize his heart condition and prevent future strokes. He also exercises routinely and can walk 4 to 5 miles regularly without difficulty,” Chen wrote.
The doctor concluded, “Overall, Lt. Governor Fetterman is well and shows strong commitment to maintaining good fitness and health practices. He has no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office.”
The doctor is also a donor
That letter sounds like incredibly good news for Fetterman and his supporters — at least until one realizes that the doctor is, in fact, a Fetterman supporter, and this “medical report” comes amid serious and legitimate questions about Fetterman’s recovery and his apparent continued inability to hear or speak effectively, as was exposed in a recent NBC News interview.
Mediaite reported that, according to Federal Election Commission records, a Dr. Clifford Chen of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, contributed $500 to the “Fetterman for PA” campaign on June 17, 2021.
While Chen is certainly not a major donor and this revelation doesn’t necessarily automatically or entirely negate his presumably well-informed medical opinion, it does open the door for legitimate questions about Chen’s potential bias and lack of neutrality in the Senate race and whether his offered clearance was intended to quash controversy and elevate Fetterman’s electoral chances in the final stretch of the campaign.