Watch: John Fetterman reads a reporter’s questions from a computer to understand them and insists his stroke will have no ‘impact’ if elected to the Senate

The health of Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor and Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman was the focus of a conversation he had with NBC News on Tuesday, during which he struggled to speak and understand questions put to him.

With Election Day a little over three weeks away, Fetterman insisted that a near-fatal stroke he suffered in May would not affect his ability to serve in the United States Senate should he defeat Republican Mehmet Oz.

“I don’t think it’s going to have an impact,” he told NBC News’ Dasha Burns in his first in-person sit-down interview since the stroke. The Fetterman campaign required NBC to provide closed captioning technology so that the Lieutenant Governor could read the questions asked in order to understand and answer them.

“Sometimes I hear things in a way that’s not entirely clear. So I use subtitles so I can see what you’re saying in the subtitles,” Fetterman explained.

NBC News noted that he occasionally stuttered and had trouble finding words during the interview. At one point, he couldn’t articulate the word “empathic” and instead said something that sounded like “emphatic.” But he denied that this was a difficulty.

“It was just about having to think more, uh, sl, uh — slower — to just understand, and that sometimes that’s a kind of processing,” Fetterman said.

Fat man suffered a stroke in May, caused by a blood clot from his heart formed by atrial fibrillation. Doctors surgically implanted a pacemaker device with a defibrillator to monitor and regulate his heartbeat. At the time, Fetterman said doctors had insisted there was “no cognitive damage,” but in later campaign appearances he made several verbal slips that Republicans drew attention to while he raised questions about his fitness for duty.

Fetterman admitted to NBC News that his recovery “changes everything.”

“But it gets way, way better where I record a lot. But to be precise, I use subtitles, so that’s really the Maijing – that’s the biggest challenge. And every now and then I miss a word. Now and again. Or sometimes I might mix two words together. But as long as I have subtitles, I can understand exactly what’s being asked,” he said.

The Senate race on the Pennsylvania battlefield could determine which party will control the Senate next year, with Democrats currently holding a 50-50 majority and Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie. Both parties have poured millions of dollars into the competition

Republican candidate Dr. Oz has tried to make Fetterman’s health a major issue in the race. oz has consistently followed up Fetterman in polls, but he narrowed the double-digit lead for Fetterman to an average difference of just 3.7 points in some polls after the May Senate primary through late September. He attacked Fetterman refused to share his medical records with reporters and for only agree to a debate.

Burns pressed Fetterman on his refusal to disclose his medical records.

“If my medical teams have already said I’m fine, I’m not sure that’s much more than transparent,” he replied, but Burns pointed out that the Fetterman campaign did not contact any of his doctors for interviews with the press provided.

“Well, I mean, if they believed I was ready and able to successfully run these types of campaigns, I think that demonstrated what they said and their opinion was pretty accurate,” Fetterman said. He insisted he was transparent by presenting himself on the campaign trail where voters can see him and decide for themselves if he is fit for service.


John Fetterman talks health and campaign in first sit-down interview since stroke

youtube Watch: John Fetterman reads a reporter’s questions from a computer to understand them and insists his stroke will have no ‘impact’ if elected to the Senate

Laura Coffey

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