Bernie Sanders and his campaign have been accused of lying to the American people. Bernie’s campaign couldn’t hide the fact that he was rushed to the hospital last week. If such a thing had been possible to keep secret, trust that they would have done so.
Since his trip to the hospital became common, public knowledge, the team had to spin it as hard as they could. They announced that he was being treated for chest discomfort. In one statement they claimed that he was suffering from angina, and that it was nothing serious.
Even while they pushed this lie, they tried to quietly cancel all of his campaign events. That’s not something you do when your candidate is perfectly healthy. A lot of people speculated that they were hiding something, but this narrative lasted through the week.
The Friday Press Release
Here’s a pro tip for all of you aspiring PR managers. Bad news should be released as late as possible on Friday evening. People pay way less attention to the news on the weekend. Major news outlets barely notice these press releases, and the public often completely ignores such announcements.
This is why Bernie’s campaign made an official statement about his hospital visit after 5 last Friday. In that statement, the doctor explained the condition and the procedure. Bernie was treated for myocardial infarction with an arterial stent.
Let’s get medical for a minute and explain the differences between angina and myocardial infarction. The conditions are actually closely related. Both involve a restriction of blood flow to the heart muscle. Angina is the condition where blood flow is restricted, but it’s not so severe that heart tissue is at risk of dying. The symptoms closely resemble a heart attack, but angina is far less serious. Angina should be treated and taken seriously, but if you take your time getting to the hospital with angina, it won’t kill you.
Myocardial infarction is the medical term for a heart attack. The big difference here is that blood flow is being restricted enough that heart tissue is dying. If you delay treatment for even the least severe heart attack imaginable, you die. The difference in extremity between the two conditions is obvious.
Why did Bernie’s campaign play loose and fast with these terms? Why don’t they want you to know that he had a heart attack? It’s pretty obvious. It’s bad when sitting presidents die, so most people won’t vote for a candidate they don’t think can survive the job. Bernie’s numbers have already struggled. Announcing to the public that he had a heart attack could finish off his chances.
This is twice as bad a problem for Bernie because he’s not an incumbent. True Bernie supporters want to see him serve for eight years. The heart attack makes it a lot less likely that he’s up to that task.
What’s truly crazy about this PR decision is that Bernie really should cancel his campaign for the sake of his health. In the best possible recovery scenario, he won’t be able to run a full, fast-paced campaign without risking his life. If his recovery is at all average, then he’ll struggle to fulfill normal work duties for at least the next three months.
Regardless of policy, he’s going to lose support from anyone who doesn’t trust his ticker, and a proper recovery is going to kill his momentum at a crucial point in the primaries.
Here’s the bottom line. Bernie — through his campaign team — just lied to the American people about the state of his health in his bid for political power. There’s no sugar coating this. Even worse, his first goal with that power would be to dismantle the healthcare system that just saved his life. Bernie needs to stop, for all of our sakes.