Bernie Sanders has heart procedure, cancels campaign events

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In this Sept. 29, 2019 photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pauses while speaking at a campaign event at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. Sanders’ campaign said Wednesday the Democratic presidential candidate has had a heart procedure for a blocked artery and that he’s canceling events and appearances “until further notice.” (AP Photo/ Cheryl Senter)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bernie Sanders’ campaign said Wednesday that the Democratic presidential candidate had a heart procedure for a blocked artery and was canceling events and appearances “until further notice.”

The 78-year-old Sanders experienced chest discomfort during an event Tuesday and sought medical evaluation, according to a campaign statement. It said two stents were “successfully inserted” and that Sanders “is conversing and in good spirits.”

His campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, was on a telephone call with supporters Tuesday night but didn’t mention any health concerns about the candidate. Shakir said the “state of the campaign is strong” and he played up Sanders’ strong fundraising total for the third quarter.

Sanders recently canceled some appearances in South Carolina because he lost his voice. The campaign said at the time he felt fine.

Sanders, the Democratic field’s oldest candidate, sometimes jokingly refers to his age at town halls and other events, especially when interacting with younger participants. His aides have tried to project him as a candidate with energy levels that surpassed his 2016 presidential campaign.

He is one of three candidates over age 70 in the Democratic primary, which has spurred debate over whether the party should rally behind a new generation of political leaders.

His health scare is certain to revive that discussion in the weeks before the next presidential debate this month.

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