OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
As questions continue to swirl around the health and fitness of Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman following a significant stroke earlier this year, his campaign released a favorable medical report on Wednesday.
However, it turns out that the doctor who issued the report has donated thousands of dollars to Fetterman’s campaign and those of other Democrats.
The report from Dr. Clifford Chen, Fetterman’s primary care physician, said that the candidate — who is Pennsylvania’s current lieutenant governor — is in good health and will be able to fulfill his senatorial duties. But, the Daily Wire reported, Chen has given more than $1,300 to Fetterman’s campaign and roughly $2,500 to Democrats running in tough, close races around the country.
“Overall, the Lt. Governor is recovering well from his stroke and his health has continued to improve,” Chen wrote, adding that the candidate’s physical exam was normal, with normal strength and coordination in all four extremities.
“He spoke intelligently without cognitive deficit. His speech was normal and he continues to exhibit symptoms of an auditory processing disorder which can come across as hearing difficulty. Occasional words he will ‘miss’ which seems like he doesn’t hear the word but it is actually not processed properly,” the report continued.
“His hearing of sound such as music is not affected. His communication is significantly improved compared to his first visit assisted by speech therapy which he has attended on a regular basis since the stroke,” the report said.
“I have spoken with his neurologist and cardiologist and he will follow-up with them routinely,” Chen added. “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. 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 Daily Wire adds:
But Chen has been an active donor for Fetterman since he announced his candidacy in 2021. Public records from the Federal Elections Commission show that he donated $500 to Fetterman’s campaign in 2021, and a total of $830 in 2022, including a $100 contribution made on September 23.
Chen also has a history of donating to Democrats nationwide since 2014. According to FEC records, he donated more than $3,000 to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign; he donated to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, as well as the Senate campaigns of Georgia Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and Nancy Pelosi’s House race. This year, he also donated to Florida Democrat Val Demings’ Senate campaign. He is also frequent contributor to ActBlue, the Democratic Party’s campaign fundraising arm, and several Democratic campaign arms and PACs.
Not surprisingly, the Fetterman campaign blew off questions about Chen’s possible political bias in giving Fetterman the green light to run.
“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,” Fetterman campaign spokesman Joe Calvello said, according to Fox News. “Anybody baselessly attacking John’s doctor or questioning the standards and integrity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center system is grasping at straws because the issue that Dr. Oz staked his whole campaign on just fell apart today.”
Concerns over Fetterman’s cognitive abilities were pushed to the forefront of his campaign following an interview with NBC News earlier this month in which he had to use a teleprompter to understand questions before answering them.
“In small talk before the interview, without captioning, it wasn’t clear he was understanding our conversation,” NBC News correspondent Dasha Burns said to Lester Holt on “NBC Nightly News” report.
“I don’t think it’s going to have an impact,” the Democrat candidate said. “I feel like I’m gonna get better and better – every day. And by January, I’m going [to] be, you know, much better. And Dr. Oz is still going to be a fraud.”
But he did admit that the stroke has changed his life as he said that “everything about it is changed.”
“I sometimes will hear things in a way that’s not perfectly clear. So I use captioning so I’m able to see what you’re saying on the captioning,” the Democrat said.
“But it gets much, much better where I take in a lot,” he said. “But to be precise, I use captioning, so that’s really the maiming, excuse me, that’s the major challenge. And every now and then, I’ll miss a word. Every now and then. Or sometimes I’ll maybe mush two words together. But as long as I have captioning, I’m able to understand exactly what’s being asked.”