Sen. Bernie Sanders to attend October debate after hospitalization, campaign official says

As Sen. Bernie Sanders recovers from a heart procedure to clear a clogged artery, his campaign promises he will be on the debate stage in less than two weeks.

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“Bernie is up and about. 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. His doctors are pleased with his progress, and there has been no need for any additional procedures,” Jane Sanders said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “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.”

Prior to Jane Sanders’ statement, ABC News asked about his attending the debate and a campaign official said, “He will be at the debate.”

Sanders is scheduled to take the stage with 11 of his 2020 Democratic primary rivals on Oct. 15.

Campaign officials have remained tight-lipped while the Vermont senator recovers at a Las Vegas hospital. He was hospitalized on Tuesday following a closed-door grassroots fundraiser.

Sanders had chest pains before being taken to the hospital, according to a statement from Sanders’ campaign senior adviser Jeff Weaver. The campaign would not say if the senator suffered a heart attack.

His wife traveled to Nevada to be with him at the hospital.

Sanders was scheduled to make campaign stops in California and Iowa in the coming days, however, campaign officials said those campaign stops are canceled until further notice.

Heidi Gutman/Walt Disney Television
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during the third Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season in Houston, Texas, Sept. 12, 2019.

Sanders’ surrogates will be on the campaign trail in his absence. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a campaign co-chairwoman, was headed to New Hampshire for three campaign events and Rep. Ro Khanna, a fellow campaign co-chairman, will make stops in Iowa over the weekend.

This comes at a critical time in the race, the Sanders campaign just announced raising $25.3 million before the Federal Election Commission’s quarterly deadline. The campaign had shaken up staff in Iowa and New Hampshire. The staffing changes, according to campaign officials, aimed to put the campaign in the best position to win in early states.

It is unclear when Sanders will make a full return to the campaign trail and if he will be able to return to the aggressive pace his campaign had before he was hospitalized. It was typical for Sanders to attend as many as five campaign events a day.

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