It was confirmed by doctors that Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) had a heart attack earlier this week when he was hospitalized with chest discomfort.
A statement released by Sanders’ campaign revealed that he experienced a “myocardial infarction,” which is medical parlance for a heart attack.
Two stents were placed, and Sanders was said to be in good spirits. He was in the hospital for three nights and was released on Friday.
“After two and a half days in the hospital, I feel great, and after taking a short time off, I look forward to getting back to work,” Sanders said, thanking the doctors and nurses at Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center in Las Vagas, Nevada for their excellent care.
Though pundits wondered this week whether Sanders’ campaign would essentially be finished after this setback, the candidate himself has given no indication that he plans to drop out of the race.
His campaign staff indicated that he still plans to participate in the October 15 debate in Ohio, giving him 10 days to continue his recovery.
A question of age
In many cases, heart attack sufferers do recover well from procedures such as the one Sanders underwent, so it just remains to be seen whether he will still be able to handle the constant demands and physical rigors of campaigning.
The incident did draw attention, however, to Sanders’ advanced age of 78. If elected, he would be the oldest U.S. president to take the oath of office. President Donald Trump, currently age 73, holds that title for the time being.
The other top candidates on the Democrat side have also faced questions about their age, given that former Vice President Joe Biden is 76 and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is 70.
The official age requirement to run for president is 35, and the youngest president in American history was Theodore Roosevelt at 42. He was not elected, but rather ascended to the role after the assassination of William McKinley.
Notably, former President Jimmy Carter recently declared his belief that 80 years of age is simply too old to manage the duties of the presidency, an observation several of the Democrat contenders might do well to heed.