The Washington Post on Monday called on John Fetterman to release his medical records, saying the Senate hopeful has “squandered” his credibility by concealing details of his near-fatal stroke earlier this year.
The Post editorial board said the lingering questions surrounding Fetterman’s health and his reluctance to debate Republican challenger Mehmet Oz are “troubling” and raise questions about whether the progressive Democrat is “fit to serve in the Senate.” The board also called on Fetterman to debate Oz at least twice, before Pennsylvania starts early voting on Sept. 19. Fetterman has said he will debate Oz just one time, in mid- to late-October.
“The lingering, unanswered questions about his health, underscored by his hesitation to debate, are unsettling,” the editorial board said.
The scathing critique from a reliably liberal newspaper highlights the rising concern that Democrats have over Fetterman’s recovery. According to Reuters, several Pennsylvania Democratic officials privately expressed concern about Fetterman’s fitness for office. Last week, Fetterman’s hometown newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, questioned his “ability to serve.”
The Post reported in June that Fetterman’s condition was much more serious than he initially let on. Fetterman’s campaign waited nearly three weeks after his May 13 stroke to disclose that Fetterman was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2017. Fetterman’s recovery has also been slower than expected. Fetterman’s wife, who is often at his side during campaign events and interviews, said after the stroke that he would “be back on his feet in no time.”
But as the Post editorial board noted, Fetterman “appears confused” at campaign events and often “stammers” during his brief stump speeches. Fetterman has appeared at only a few public events since his stroke in May. He appeared at a rally on Sunday, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, to promote abortion rights with an activist who supports the movement to defund police.
“Mr. Fetterman is asking voters for a six-year contract without giving them enough information to make sound judgments about whether he’s up for such a demanding job,” the editorial board said.