17 January 2016

Well, This is Getting Interesting

David Brock, a proxy for Hillary Clinton has been demanding that the 74 year old Bernie Sanders release his complete medical records.

Interestingly, the Clinton campaign has done its level best to get him to STFU:
A top surrogate for Hillary Clinton is prepping a new attack in an intensifying and increasingly personal war against rival Bernie Sanders — calling on the 74-year-old to release his medical records before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1.

Clinton defender David Brock — founder of the Correct the Record PAC, which coordinates directly with Clinton’s campaign — is expected to hit the airwaves this weekend from Charleston, the scene of the third Democratic debate on Sunday night, and challenge Sanders to cough up a clean bill of health and doctor’s note in the next 16 days, according to a Democrat familiar with his thinking who was not authorized to preview any strategy.

Clinton released her medical records, showing she is “fit to serve as President,” last July. A spokeswoman for the Clinton campaign declined to comment on the strategy.

But hours later, after this report was published and Brock's planned tactics were widely criticized on Twitter, campaign chairman John Podesta distanced himself from the surrogate’s attack.

“@DavidBrockDC chill out,” Podesta tweeted Saturday night. “We’re fighting on who would make a better President, not on who has a better Physical Fitness Test.”

Podesta's belated comment also came after the Sanders campaign issued its own fundraising plea off of this report, calling it "a new, vile super PAC attack on Bernie."
I don't think that it was a fundraising plea.

I think that the Clinton campaign does not want a detailed investigation of her health records.  (She is 68)

Here is the analysis from Naked Capitalism: (note that Coumadin is a brand name for the generic Wafarin)
……… People in glass houses should not throw stones! Hillary’s medical report reads as if it was written by lawyer, and it’s from an MD in the town next to Chappaqua, when you have to think her and Bill’s main doctors are big ticket MDs in Manhattan, and the local just part of the team. But most important, she’s on Coumadin, which is an anti-clotting drug used often in post stroke patients to reduce the risk of recurrence. Coumadin has to be tightly managed. And read this analysis….be sure to get as far as the discussion of the cumulative odds of death were she to be a 2 term president on Coumadin. Are there any doctors in the house who can weigh in on the article? Update: This came in by e-mail from a doctor who treats in this area that I asked to opine:
Clinton apparently had a rare type of stroke, cerebral venous thrombosis. For what it’s worth, I had never seen a patient with that kind of stroke in my career. In the blog post, Dr Cundiff analyzed the fairly minimal data available on that kind of stroke. One study showed a surprisingly high bleeding risk for patients on long-term Coumadin. But the study was apparently funded by the manufacturer of a drug that was brought out to be a supposedly safer alternative to Coumadin, the COIs affecting the study were not properly disclosed, and the design of the study was such that the likelihood it was biased is high.

And of course it’s actually very difficult to accurately predict what will happen to any patient, much less at a distance using limited information for a patient who had a relatively rare problem.

All patients on Coumadin (and other kinds of anticoagulants) have elevated bleeding risks. How elevated it may be difficult to say for many. Really good medical care and monitoring ought to decrease this risk. Falling and hitting one’s head, or having major trauma surely increase it. So I would advise Ms Clinton, from a distance, to avoid contact sports and activities with high risks of trauma (sky-diving, race car driving, working for the police, fire departments, going into military combat, etc). But that’s probably not so useful in this context.
All of this is significant because I guarantee that the Republican opposition researchers are looking to use all of this against the eventual Democratic nominee.

Whether it's Clinton or Sanders (O'Malley is really not in the game), we are going to see health issues raised by Republican operatives.


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