Bad medicine: The doctor who gives Fetterman a clean bill of health is a campaign donor


Dr. Clifford Chen has given tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats, including Fetterman.

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Chuck Ross October 19, 2022 2:45 PM

John Fetterman’s campaign is citing a note from a political donor as proof that the Senate candidate has a clean bill of health.

In a letter published by Fetterman’s team, Dr. Clifford Chen said that Fetterman has “significantly improved” after his stroke and “is able to work in public office.” The campaign released the letter, which it called a “medical report,” following calls from the media to obtain the Pennsylvania Democrat’s health records.

Chen’s political leanings could raise questions about his medical evaluation of Fetterman, whose race against Republican Mehmet Oz could determine which party controls the Senate. According to campaign finance records, Chen has donated tens of thousands of dollars over the years to Democratic candidates and party committees. He contributed $1,330 to Fetterman’s campaign, including a $500 donation in June 2021, before becoming Fetterman’s doctor. Chen donated to other Senate candidates who ran in close races this cycle, including Rep. Val Demings (D., Fla.) and Sen. Raphael Warnock (D., Ga.).

“This is not about politics,” Fetterman campaign spokesman Joe Calvello told the Washington Free Beacon. “This is a detailed, independent medical report written by John’s primary care physician based on his last office visit last week.”

Fetterman initially downplayed the severity of his stroke and has had trouble speaking clearly and processing sound during campaign events and interviews. Fetterman’s stroke was caused by a heart condition that he was diagnosed with in 2017 but didn’t reveal until after his health problem.

Fetterman’s supporters have gone on the attack amid questions about his health. His wife, Gisele Fetterman, said there should be “consequences” for an NBC News reporter who questioned Fetterman last week about his recovery and his reliance on closed captions to conduct interviews. She also criticized the Washington Post editorial board last month for an article that claimed Fetterman had “wasted credibility” by refusing to release his medical records. Gisele Fetterman said the trusted liberal newspaper ran the story for “clicks.”

Chen said in the letter that he has been in routine contact with Fetterman’s neurologist and cardiologist about his recovery.

“Overall, Lt. Governor Fetterman is doing well and shows a strong commitment to maintaining good health and exercise practices. He has no job restrictions and is fully able to perform in public office,” Chen wrote.

Chen did not respond to a request for comment.


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