Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has stridently insisted for several weeks now that his heart can stand up to the stress of being president of the United States — nevermind the fact that he suffered a heart attack in October 2019.
Dr. Richard Kovacs says that although Sanders insists that he’s released sufficient health records, he’s actually hiding a key indicator of how much damage the October heart attack actually did to his cardiac function.
Kovacs, who is president of the American College of Cardiology, said on Monday that Sanders has not released data on the ejection fraction of Sanders’ left ventricle, a key measure of how efficient the heart is at doing its job — pumping blood to the body.
An assessment of the ejection fraction can be an indicator of the likelihood of future heart attacks or heart failure. The lower the percentage is, the lower the volume of blood that the heart is ejecting with every heartbeat.
“Normally the heart will push out 60 percent. If you go down to 40 or 50 percent, we regard that as mild impairment of the left ventricle. Thirty to 40 percent would be moderate. If you get to 30 percent, that would be severe,” said Kovacs.
Sanders has released limited medical records since the October health event, but those records don’t include the critical data shows Sanders’ ejection fraction.
78-year-old Sanders has repeatedly been questioned about how much confidence voters can have that he won’t experience a devastating heart attack during his first term. Sanders has responded to such questions that he is unlikely to release any further medical records and that he’s “released as much documentation as any other candidate.”
Sanders and his campaign repeatedly point to the amount of activity that Sanders engages in on the campaign trail as proof that there’s nothing wrong with the aging Senator.
“I think any of you who follow him on the campaign trail know that he can handle the rigors of that probably better than many of us standing here,” said Jeff Weaver, one of Sanders’ top advisers.
The problem is, the outrageous amount of stress that comes with campaigning nationwide, followed with the enormous pressure that one takes on as president is not good for the heart. The fact that Bernie has such a high-stress lifestyle right now is not reassuring.
Sanders already had one heart attack only months into the campaign trail, and he’s refusing to release the data that would actually prove that his heart can take the stress.
He can trot out as many of his own doctors as he wants that say he’s fit for the White House, but, as Sanders said in September — before the heart attack — “The American people have a right to know whether the person they’re going to be voting for for president is healthy.”