Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders was hospitalized and underwent a successful procedure for an artery blockage, his campaign announced Wednesday. The 78-year-old's advisor Jeff Weaver announced that Sanders "experienced some chest discomfort" during an event Tuesday and that testing found a "blockage in one artery." He had two stents inserted, Weaver said.
The presidential campaign has canceled all appearances and events until further notice. The Vermont senator was traveling for a gun forum in Las Vegas that other candidates were also scheduled to attend. He was to travel to California later this week. Sanders is running for the Democratic presidential nomination for the second time.
"Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days," Weaver said, according CNBC. "We are canceling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates."
Sanders has maintained a quick-paced campaign trail schedule, typically holding multiple events in several cities a day. Over the weekend, he held several events at colleges in New Hampshire.
Following his trips this week to Nevada and California, he had been expected to travel to Iowa this weekend.
Weaver read the statement to staffers on a quickly assembled conference call at 10:30 a.m. ET, according to an aide on the call, The New York Times reports. No one on the staff asked questions following his statements, which Weaver reportedly read in measured tones.
Sanders is the oldest presidential candidate seeking to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020. He 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 also five years older than the 73-year-old Trump, who is the oldest person to be elected as a first-term president.
Sanders committed to releasing his medical records before the primary voting started. During his 2016 campaign, he released a letter from his doctor saying he was in good health and did not have a history of heart disease.0comments
Sanders' campaign planned to go on air with its first television ads of the campaign this week in Iowa, announcing a two-week $1.3 million buy on Tuesday. Ad tracking service Medium Buying said Wednesday that Sanders began cancelling those ads, although the reason for doing so was not immediately known.
Some of Sanders' primary competitors sent him messages of support after his campaign announced the procedure. Sen. Kamala Harris wished Sanders a "speedy recovery," calling him a "fighter" and adding that she looked forward to "seeing him on the campaign trail soon." Sen. Cory Booker also wished Sanders a "speedy recovery."