Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman’s campaign dodged the release of the candidate’s medical records after his debate Tuesday, insisting he is “fit to serve.”
Fetterman’s Tuesday night debate with Republican opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz was the political primetime event of the election cycle with the candidates defending their views on major issues from abortion rights to fracking and beyond.
Fetterman suffered a stroke five months ago, and his health has become a point of contention in the race, even after the media and his campaign lowered the bar on expectations.
WHO WON THE PENNSYLVANIA SENATE DEBATE? PEOPLE WEIGH IN ON FETTERMAN’S HEALTH, DR. OZ’S ABORTION ANSWER
Fox News Digital asked Fetterman’s campaign if the Pennsylvania Democrat would release his medical records and if the lieutenant governor believed withholding his medical records sends a message of confidence and transparency to voters.
Fetterman’s campaign dodged releasing the records, and spokesperson Joe Calvello insisted the Democrat is “fit to serve.”
The campaign also pointed to a press release from a doctor’s report on Fetterman’s health, saying the candidate has gone “above and beyond” to be transparent about his health.
“As we’ve said over and over again, John is healthy and fit to serve, and he also still has a lingering auditory processing issue from the stroke,” Calvello said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “John has already released two different reports from his doctors, one from his cardiologist and one from his primary care physician, both saying he is fit to serve, and also put out a candid letter directly from himself about his stroke.
“John has been transparent in talking openly about his health with local and national media, while also showing voters how closed-caption technology helps him communicate more effectively.
“Unfortunately for Dr. Oz and the pathetic Republicans who are desperately rooting against his recovery, John is getting better every day, and he is going to win this race to be Pennsylvania’s next senator,” Calvello added. “In January, John is going to be even better, and Dr. Oz will still be a fraud.”
Fetterman’s campaign also pointed to previous statements from Oz on Fetterman’s health, including a statement from the Republican doctor’s campaign saying the doctor giving Fetterman “a clean bill of health” was “good news” because it meant he would be able to participate in a second debate.
“Now that he apparently is healthy, he can debate for 90 minutes, start taking live questions from voters and reporters and do a second debate now too,” Oz spokesperson Rachel Tripp said.
Fetterman’s camp also highlighted a response from Oz saying he was “thrilled” that Fetterman’s health was improving but that the real concern was the ideas in his head.
“All along, I’ve been saying you’re either lying about your health or you’re not willing to own the radical left policies you’ve been advocating for,” Oz said. “So I think this now frees us all up comfortably to say we should have a real debate.”
The two campaigns have sparred over the impact of Fetterman’s stroke on his fitness to serve in the Senate, and the Democrat was asked during Tuesday’s debate if he would release his medical records “in the interest of transparency.”
The Pennsylvania Democrat refused to say if he would, instead saying his doctor, who donated hundreds of dollars to his campaign, cleared him to serve.
“To me, for transparency, it’s about showing up. I’m here today to have a debate,” Fetterman responded.
“I have speeches in front of 3,000 people in Montgomery, you know, all across Pennsylvania, big, big crowds,” he added. “I believe if my doctor believes that I’m fit to serve and that’s what I believe is appropriate.”
In citing his doctor’s assessment of his health, Fetterman insisted that he and his campaign have “been transparent” about the ongoing recovery issues he faces.
“With two weeks before the election, you know, I have run a campaign, and I have been transparent about being very open, about the fact where I use captioning and I believe that, again, my doctors, the real doctors that I believe, they all believe that I’m ready to be serve.”
Pressed on whether he would release his medical records for Pennsylvania voters, Fetterman said, “Again, my doctor believes that I’m fit to be serving and that’s what I believe is where I am standing.”
During the debate, Fetterman used human-written closed captioning provided by Nexstar. After the debate, Fetterman’s campaign claimed the closed captioning was “filled with errors.”
Nexstar rebuked the allegations from the Fetterman campaign, saying in a statement the Democrat did not utilize all the opportunities he was given to practice before Tuesday night. Nexstar said it offered both candidates two rehearsals but that Fetterman elected to do only one.
Fox News Digital’s Kyle Morris and Landon Mion contributed reporting.