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Doctor who gave Fetterman a clean bill of health is campaign donor, Democrat funder

Physician said Democratic candidate can "work full duty in public office."

Published: October 22, 2022 10:09am

Updated: October 22, 2022 7:18pm

A doctor who issued a clean bill-of-health letter for John Fetterman is a donor to the Pennsylvania Democrat Senate nominee's campaign and a frequent giver to other Democratic politicians, federal records show. 

Speculations have swirled around Fetterman's health after he experienced a stroke in May. At times he has struggled with speech and has also needed technological assistance during media interviews, such as closed captioning to ensure he comprehends questions to him. Auditory processing issues are common symptoms of strokes. 

Fetterman's campaign this week released a letter dubbed a "medical report" from Pennsylvania physician Clifford Chen, who identified himself as Fetterman's "primary care physician." The letter claimed Fetterman “is well and shows strong commitment to maintaining good fitness and health practices.”

“He has no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office,” Chen wrote in that letter, noting that Fetterman retained him as a primary care physician in May of this year. 

Media reports subsequently revealed that Chen appears to have donated to Fetterman's campaign multiple times. Federal Election Commission receipts show at least $830 from a Clifford Chen employed by UPMC Community Medicine, the same health system listed on Chen's letter earlier this week. 

A broader series of receipts at the FEC show that Chen has given abundantly to Democratic politicians and causes in recent years, including to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Raphael Warnock and the Democratic National Committee. 

Chen could not immediately be reached for comment on Saturday morning. The Fetterman campaign also did not immediately respond to a request for comment, though a campaign spokesman told the Washington Free Beacon that the issue "[wasn't] about politics" and was "an independent, detailed medical report written by John’s primary care doctor based on his latest office visit from last week."

Fetterman's Republican opponent, Mehmet Oz, has in recent weeks cited Fetterman's health as a significant cause for concern. Polling of the race has shown the gap between the two candidates rapidly narrowing as the midterm elections have neared. 

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