Sanders, 78, suffered a heart attack in the fall before undergoing a stent procedure to clear an artery, doctors said in a statement released by his campaign at the time. During Tuesday’s town hall, he noted that his campaign had also released a letter about his health from the attending physician in Congress, which he characterized as a “detailed report.”
Asked if he would release more details, Sanders said, “I don’t think we will,” and he suggested that anyone who doubts his health should follow him on the campaign trail.
On Wednesday, Briahna Joy Gray, the campaign’s national press secretary suggested that questions about Sanders’s health were unfair and that he was being subjected to a different standard than other candidates, including Bloomberg.
“What you’re seeing right now is really reminiscent of some of the kind of smear, kind of skepticism campaigns that have been run against a lot of different candidates in the past. Questioning where they’re from, aspects of their lineage, et cetera, et cetera,” Gray said on CNN. “It’s really telling given that none of the same concern is being demonstrated for Michael Bloomberg, who is the same age as Bernie Sanders, who has suffered heart attacks in the past.”
Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg’s campaign manager, promptly called that claim “an absolute lie.”
“After a positive stress test in his doctor’s office at Johns Hopkins University in 2000, Mike had two coronary stents placed,” Sheekey said in a statement in which he also pointed to a December statement from Bloomberg’s internist that said he is in “outstanding health.”
The statement said that Bloomberg, 78, has had normal cardiac stress tests since 2000 and is now taking a blood thinner for atrial fibrillation that developed in 2018.
Gray acknowledged later Wednesday morning that she had “misspoke.”
“I misspoke when I said Bloomberg had a heart attack,” she tweeted. “Rather, he underwent the same stent procedure as Bernie. Bernie released 3 detailed medical reports in December — just like the other candidates.”