Many of Fetterman’s circuits functioning ‘just fine’: Doctor


(NewsNation) — Neurologist Jill Bolte said asking Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman to do a debate was like asking “a man who has a cast on his leg to run a marathon.”

But, despite his struggles in the debate, she said his stroke should not disqualify him from being a senator.

Fetterman suffered a stroke in May and has since had difficulty speaking and processing spoken words, an ailment which showed itself in a debate against Republican Mehmet Oz on Tuesday night.

Bolte said asking someone in Fetterman’s situation to compete in a debate was “setting him up for failure,” but added the aftereffects of his stroke should not hinder his ability to do the job of a senator should he win in November’s election.

“Many of the circuits inside of his brain are functioning just fine,” Bolte told NewsNation’s Leland Vittert. “The question is, do we as a society actually want to go and look at his frame, look at his behavior and see for ourselves what is working well? Or do we are we going to focus, just pound, pound, pound on this?”

Republicans have criticized Fetterman for not committing to releasing his medical records, but Bolte said even if Fetterman did, most people probably wouldn’t understand what was in the report anyway.

“What kind of inferences are we going to get? The beauty of the brain is that variation is the rule, not the exception,” Bolte said. “Say you may have a stroke in a certain blood vessel, and I do too, and the cells around that very specific branch of that blood vessel, they do a very specific thing. In his case, the problem is his information processing. But he’s not having a problem reading, he’s not having a problem listening, but he needs more time in order to process what he’s getting. And then when you really stop and think what does a senator do? Most of the skill sets are going to be listening to others.”

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