Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (Source: Tom Wolf Flickr.)
Pennsylvania’s Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate released a doctor’s note on Wednesday, saying that he is recovering well since he suffered a stroke in May and can “work full duty in public office.”
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who was sidelined from the campaign trail until August and still struggles with auditory processing, has faced questions about his health from Mehmet Oz, his Republican opponent in the Nov. 8 general election.
In a one-page Oct. 15 letter, Dr. Clifford Chen said he saw Fetterman for a follow-up visit last week after establishing care in May. Fetterman has declined to release in-depth medical records and argued that his campaign has been transparent about his health and recovery.
“Overall, Lt. Gov. Fetterman is well and shows strong commitment to maintaining good fitness and health practices,” Chen wrote, adding that Fetterman exercises daily. “He has no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office.”
Fetterman, who uses closed-captioning to help process questions, had “normal speech” but “continues to exhibit symptoms of an auditory processing disorder, which can come across as hearing difficulty,” Chen wrote.
“Occasional words he will ‘miss,’ which seems like he doesn’t hear the word, but it is actually not processed properly,” Chen wrote. “His hearing of sound, such as music, is not affected.”
Chen added that Fetterman’s communication has “significantly improved” compared to his first visit, saying that Fetterman has attended speech therapy “on a regular basis since the stroke.”
The candidates, who are expected to participate in a televised debate on Oct. 25, are seeking to replace retiring GOP U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, who has also questioned whether Fetterman is fit to serve as he recovers.
The high-profile race could determine which political party controls the upper chamber next year.
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