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Fetterman Releases Medical Update

John Fetterman at a podium

The campaign for Democratic candidate John Fetterman released a medical report from his doctor on Wednesday morning in an attempt to quiet detractors about his health.

The report from UPMC physician Dr. Clifford Chen states that the lieutenant governor “is recovering well from his stroke and his health has continued to improve” and concludes that he “has no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office.”

Chen, who became his primary care physician shortly after Fetterman’s stroke in May, said the former mayor of Braddock’s physical exam was normal, with normal readings for blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen level.

The release of the examination report comes less than three weeks before the November 8 election and six days prior to the only scheduled debate between Fetterman and Republican nominee Mehmet Oz on October 25. Fetterman will used closed captioning, as he has for recent interviews, to ensure he understands the questions given his auditory processing issues.

It is believed that Fetterman suffers from aphasia, described by the Cleveland Clinic as “the loss of ability to communicate normally resulting from damage typically to the left side of the brain, which houses the communication center. It may affect a person’s verbal expression (getting words out) and/or auditory comprehension (understanding what is being said to them).”

Chen wrote, “Occasional words he will “miss” which seems like he doesn’t hear the word but it is actually not processed properly.”

“Since my stroke five months ago, one of the best parts of this campaign has been the unbelievable number of Pennsylvanians who have shared their own stories with us about the major health problems they’ve faced and overcome in their lives,” said Fetterman in a statement. “It reminds me why I’m fighting to slash health care costs and make it so every Pennsylvanian can spend more time with the people they love. Unfortunately for Dr. Oz, I’m ready to serve and continue to get better every single day.”

“It’s not easy recovering from a stroke in public – let alone doing it while running in the top Senate race in the country – but John has worked hard to get here, and it shows,” said Rebecca Katz, senior adviser to the campaign.

In September, Oz released a letter from his primary care doctor that detailed similar tests, labs, and examinations provided in Fetterman’s letter. Oz’s doctor described his cholesterol level as slightly elevated but his overall health as excellent.


On Friday, October 14, 2022 I saw Lt. Governor Fetterman for a follow-up office visit after he had previously established care with me as his primary care physician in May.

Overall, the Lt. Governor is recovering well from his stroke and his health has continued to improve. His physical exam was normal with blood pressure 116/82, heart rate 80, and pulse oximetry of 97% on room air. His lung exam was clear, heart rate was regular, and his strength was normal in all four extremities without any strength or coordination deficits. He spoke intelligently without cognitive deficits. His speech was normal and he continues to exhibit symptoms of an auditory processing disorder which can come across as hearing difficulty. Occasional words he will “miss” which seems like he doesn’t hear the word but it is actually not processed properly. His hearing of sound such as music is not affected. His communication is significantly improved compared to his first visit assisted by speech therapy which he has attended on a regular basis since the stroke.

Laboratory testing was performed and the results are good. His lipid profile is excellent with total cholesterol 124, HDL 54, LDL 56, and triglycerides 60. Kidney function, electrolytes, liver function, and vitamin levels are all normal. The Lt. Governor also received appropriate flu and pneumonia vaccinations at his office visit.

I have spoken with his neurologist and cardiologist and he will follow-up with them routinely. The Lt. Governor takes appropriate medications to optimize his heart condition and prevent future strokes. He also exercises routinely and can walk 4 to 5 miles regularly without difficulty.

Overall, Lt. Governor Fetterman is well and shows strong commitment to maintaining good fitness and health practices. He has no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office.


Clifford Chen, MD

2 Responses

  1. This isn’t a medical record. It’s a Dr’s excuse you bring to school so you don’t have to play dodgeball in gym class

  2. As a youngster I saw my grandmother have a massive stroke. Believe me, you know when it is a massive stroke. Lt Gov Fetterman had a stroke which many recover from and live full lives. Oz is in one of his 10 houses trying to make this Fetterman health matter more than what it is and who is surprised?


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