October 3, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, on Wednesday canceled his campaign events for the coming days after being hospitalized and treated for an artery blockage.   

Sanders, age 78, has polled among the top three Democratic candidates in the race, behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Sanders is the oldest candidate seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, and is five-years older than President Trump, who is the oldest person to have been elected as a first-term president.

Sanders cancels events after undergoing treatment for clogged artery

Jeff Weaver, a senior campaign adviser, in a statement said Sanders on Tuesday "experienced some chest discomfort" during a campaign event in Las Vegas, and then underwent a medical evaluation and testing. The tests revealed that Sanders had a blockage in one artery. Sanders underwent a procedure to place two stents to prop open his artery.

Stents are frequently inserted to ease chest pain among patients who have clogged arteries. According to current U.S. guidelines, stenting is an appropriate procedure for individuals who have a blocked artery and chest pain and who have undergone "optimal" medication therapy to address the condition. The stents are used to improve blood flow and prevent the clogged artery from causing a heart attack.

Campaign officials said Sanders currently is recovering in a Las Vegas hospital. Weaver said Sanders "is conversing and in good spirits," but he "will be resting up over the next few days" and "canceling his events and appearances until further notice." Sanders was scheduled to make appearance in Las Vegas, California, and Iowa over the next few days.

Sanders' campaign on Wednesday also began to cancel a $1.3 million ad buy scheduled to start Thursday in Iowa, CNBC reports. It was not immediately clear why the campaign canceled the ads. However, a spokesperson for the campaign said the move simply was a "postponement."

Reaction

A number of presidential hopefuls seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination sent Sanders messages of support over Twitter.

For example, Biden, Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Warren, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg in separate tweets wished Sanders a "speedy recovery" (Ember/Martin, New York Times, 10/2; Pramuk, CNBC, 10/2; Frieden, MedPage Today, 10/2; Parks et al., ABC News, 10/2; Madhani, USA Today, 10/2).

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