Democrat owes Pennsylvania voters transparency

Still recovering from a stroke, John Fetterman has yet to disclose his medical records. Voters deserve to know if his health is a liability.

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Editorials

October 18, 2022 - 4:04 PM

Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman greets supporters after a Philadelphia rally. (Tyger Williams/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

Last week, in his first in-person TV interview since a May stroke, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate John Fetterman relied on closed-captioning technology to aid with his auditory processing problems and garbled a few spoken words. It’s fair game for voters as they choose between him and Republican Mehmet Oz — but by our lights, Fetterman passed the key test, which was demonstrating that he’s intellectually capable of serving.

Yes, Fetterman required what disabled Americans call an accommodation, in this case a computer screen that transcribed reporter Dasha Burns’ questions as she spoke them, then answered unassisted. Few would begrudge a hard-of-hearing person making use of a hearing aid or a legally blind leader (which New York had not long ago) needing help recognizing faces or reading documents.

Indeed, in this case, the crutch on which Fetterman leans is probably temporary. He’s better today than he was in the summer, and is likely to be better still by the time he sits in the Senate, should he win. Oz, a medical doctor, should understand all this rather than mocking his health.

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