NBC News’ interview of Pennsylvania’s Democratic senatorial candidate John Fetterman caused a liberal freakout on social media.
Fetterman’s recovery from a near-fatal stroke he suffered in May has become a central theme in the critical midterm election.
Fetterman, 53, has been silent about releasing medical records or providing access for reporters to question his doctors.
Two editorial boards, of The Washington Post and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, have called for Fetterman to release medical records after his refusal to debate Oz more than once. The Post-Gazette said that should include cognitive tests and making his doctors available to reporters.
His campaign has refused to release medical records, but Fetterman did finally agree to an in-person interview with NBC News’ Dasha Burns on Tuesday.
After, Burns told NBC News host Lester Holt that before the teleprompter was brought out, the Democratic leader couldn’t understand basic English or hold a conversation.
“Fetterman’s campaign required closed captioning technology for this interview to essentially read our questions as we asked them,” Bash said. “In small talk before the interview, without captioning, it wasn’t clear he was understanding our conversation.”
MSNBC: “[Fetterman] had a hard time understanding our conversations." pic.twitter.com/wZskWpNx3y
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) October 11, 2022
Liberals freaked out over her report.
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) October 12, 2022
It's absolutely disgusting what the media is doing to John Fetterman. He has a hearing impairment as a result of his stroke and they're treating it as a scandal. It's one of the worst examples of ableism in politics I've ever seen.
— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) October 12, 2022
It went from “there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Fetterman” to “how dare you attack the disabled” in a few hours. It’s amazing how quickly a talking point coalesces.
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) October 12, 2022
Oz’s entire life has been a scandal. If the media wanted to be unbiased, it would focus primarily on that. Instead the media is trying to “look” unbiased to dummies in the middle by downplaying Oz’s massive scandals and overstating minor concerns over Fetterman. It’s bullshit.
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) October 12, 2022
Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee and Fetterman’s rival, released his health records this week.
Dr. Rebecca Kurth in New York City wrote in a four-page letter that she found the 62-year-old heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity to be in “excellent health” in an annual checkup Thursday.
The letter noted that Oz has a total cholesterol level that is “borderline elevated” but can be addressed by diet, and referenced that in 2010 he had a polyp — a growth that sometimes can become cancerous — removed from his colon. An electrocardiogram — a test that records electrical signals in the heart to detect heart problems — he had Thursday came out normal.
“Your examination is healthy, and the blood tests are favorable,” Kurth wrote. She recommended no medication.
In a statement, Oz said “voters should have full transparency when it comes to the health status of candidates running for office.” Oz, a heart surgeon, is best known for “The Dr. Oz Show,” which he hosted on daytime TV for 13 years.
Fetterman’s campaign again made no commitment Friday to releasing records or providing access to his doctors.
“In June, I released a letter from my doctor where he clearly stated that I am fit to serve,” Fetterman said in the statement. “Dr. Oz built his entire career by lying to people about health. I trust my actual doctors over the opinion of a charlatan who played one on TV.”
The race in the presidential battleground to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey could help determine control of the closely divided Senate, and Democrats view it as perhaps their best opportunity to pick up a seat out of just a handful of close races nationally.
You can watch Burns’ full interview here —
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article