Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders has undergone what appears to be a major heart surgery for an artery blockage.
Sanders announced on Wednesday that he has cancelled all campaign events and appearances “until further notice” after doctors find blockage in artery and “successfully” insert two stents.
The Vermont senator’s adviser, Jeff Weaver, said in a statement that Sanders “experienced some chest discomfort” during a Tuesday event.
Weaver said that testing found a “blockage in one artery,” and Sanders had two stents inserted.
“Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days,” Weaver said. “We are canceling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates.”
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.”
— Holly Otterbein (@hollyotterbein) October 2, 2019
Sanders, 78, is the oldest presidential candidate seeking to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020. The Vermont independent is three years older than former Vice President Joe Biden, who has led most national and state primary polls despite concerns about his mental sharpness.
Sanders is five years older than the 73-year-old Trump, who was the only president to take office for the first time when over the age of 70.
His health scare is certain to revive that discussion in the weeks before the next presidential debate this month.
The campaign has not given a specific time table for Sanders’ return.
Fellow 2020 Democrat Julián Castro released a statement saying: “We want to send our best wishes for a quick recovery to Bernie Sanders today. Our whole team has you in their thoughts.”
Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris echoed a similar message on Twitter.
“Thinking of Bernie Sanders today and wishing him a speedy recovery. If there’s one thing I know about him, he’s a fighter and I look forward to seeing him on the campaign trail soon,” she wrote.
“Wishing Bernie Sanders a full and speedy recovery. Our thoughts are with you and your family today—and I look forward to seeing you back out on the campaign trail soon,” wrote Robert “Beto” O’Rourke on Twitter, who is also running for president.
Former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile wrote: “Wishing Bernie Sanders a speedy recovery.”
Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel also wished the senator well and prayed for a quick recovery.
“Please keep Bernie Sanders in your prayers following his heart surgery. Wishing him a quick recovery!” she said.