Sen. Bernie Sanders suffered a “chest discomfort” on Tuesday night and will be pending campaign for now, after doctors treated a blockage in an artery, senior adviser Jeff Weaver confirmed in a statement Wednesday morning.
“Following medical evaluation and testing he was found to have a blockage in one artery and two stents were successfully inserted,” Weaver said. “Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days. We are canceling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates.”
78 years old Sanders, felt the “discomfort” during a campaign event. Though, age is not by his side, he’s one of the most active campaigners in the 2020 Democratic primary field, often holding four or even five events in a single day. He was scheduled to headline three on Wednesday and planned another four in California beginning on Thursday. Friday’s itinerary had him slated for three more, including a union forum. Before traveling west, Sanders held three Sunday events in New Hampshire and another pair on Monday.
“If a stent is chosen to treat his blocked artery, it’s good news in some ways because it must not be that much of a severe diffuse or multiple blockages that would require bypass surgery,” said Dr. Roxana Mehran, interventional cardiologist at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
“Stents are basically a metal caging that keeps the artery open,” Mehran added. “Usually these are medicated stents. They’ve been around for over a decade with huge improvement and we’ve been able to keep patients out of trouble with the current technology that’s available with very little to no recurrence.”
Dr. Nieca Goldberg, who happens to be a cardiologist at NYU Langone Health in New York, also stated that she assumes Sanders could have a quick recovery.
“Years ago, most patients would stay overnight in the hospital, but there are some circumstances where people get in early enough to get their procedure and they can actually go home the same day,” Goldberg said.
“This is a catheter-based procedure. What’s most important for people to understand: We’re not opening up anyone’s chest,” she said. “We like people to get up and move the next day. I think we would tell people to take a few days off before they ratchet it up, because we just want the arteries to heal.”
Minutes after the news of Sanders’ procedure became public, his campaign rivals responded with an outpouring of support.
“Bruce, Team Warren, and I are sending all our best wishes for a speedy recovery to @BernieSanders,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of Sanders’ closest allies in Washington, tweeted. “I hope to see my friend back on the campaign trail very soon.”
Warren, who happens to be in Las Vegas on Wednesday, told supporters at an event on Wednesday morning that she has called and texted Sanders.
“I assume you’ve heard the news about Bernie, that he’s had a medical incident and I know everyone here wishes him well, wants to see him strong and back on the trail as soon as possible,” Warren said at the beginning of her remarks. “I’ve called, I’ve texted.”
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg were among the persons that wished Sanders well.
“All of us here at @PeteForAmerica are sending our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Senator @BernieSanders,” Buttigieg tweeted. “We’re thinking of him and his family today, and I look forward to seeing him back on the campaign trail very soon.”
Sens. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker also tweeted out their support, along with Andrew Yang and former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro.
And former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted, “.@DrBiden and I are sending our best wishes to @BernieSanders, Jane, and the whole Sanders family. Anyone who knows Bernie understands what a force he is. We are confident that he will have a full and speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him on the trail soon.”