Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is expected to return home to Burlington, Vt., by the end of the weekend after he underwent a procedure this week to treat a blocked artery, his wife said Thursday.
In a statement, Jane Sanders said that her husband was “up and about” and “cracking jokes” at a hospital in Las Vegas and was recovering well from the procedure.
“Yesterday, he spent much of the day talking with staff about policies, cracking jokes with the nurses and doctors, and speaking with his family on the phone,” she said. “His doctors are pleased with his progress, and there has been no need for any additional procedures.
“We expect Bernie will be discharged and on a plane back to Burlington before the end of the weekend. He’ll take a few days to rest, but he’s ready to get back out there and is looking forward to the October debate.”
Sanders’s presidential campaign was put on hold Wednesday after he had two stents inserted to treat a blocked artery. That procedure came after he experienced what a senior campaign adviser described as “chest discomfort” during an appearance in Las Vegas.
Shortly after announcing that he would cancel upcoming campaign events while he recovered from the procedure, Sanders’s campaign scrapped a seven-figure television ad buy in Iowa that it had announced a day earlier. A spokesperson for his campaign said the move was “just a postponement,” but did not elaborate on the decision.
At 78 years old, Sanders is the oldest candidate in the Democratic presidential field. But he has faced relatively little scrutiny over his age. The stent procedure will likely prompt new questions about his age and health.
Stent procedures are relatively common in the U.S. and patients are usually discharged from the hospital within a couple days.
During his 2016 presidential run, his campaign released a letter from his longtime physician, asserting that Sanders was in “very good health.” That letter made mention of a few minor ailments in his past — hernias and gout, among them — but stated that the Vermont senator did not have a history of cardiovascular disease.
Sanders has not yet released his medical records, but has vowed to do so before voting begins in February.