- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A spokeswoman for Sen. Bernard Sanders’ presidential campaign on Wednesday acknowledged that she misspoke when she said former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had heart attacks as she was trying to vouch for Mr. Sanders‘ health.

In an appearance on CNN, spokeswoman Briahna Joy Gray had likened questions about the health of the 78-year-old Mr. Sanders to a “smear” campaign.

“Questioning where they’re from, aspects of their lineage, et cetera, et cetera,” she said. “And it’s really telling given that none of the same concern is being demonstrated for Michael Bloomberg, who’s the same age as Bernie Sanders, who has suffered heart attacks in the past.”

Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said it’s an “absolute lie” that Mr. Bloomberg had heart attacks, saying Mr. Bloomberg had two coronary stents placed after a positive stress test in 2000.

Ms. Gray later said she misspoke when she said Mr. Bloomberg, who turned 78 last week, had a heart attack.

“Rather, he underwent the same stent procedure as Bernie,” she said on Twitter. “Bernie released 3 detailed medical reports in December — just like the other candidates.”

At a CNN town hall on Tuesday, Mr. Sanders said he doesn’t think he’ll release additional medical records, pointing to physician letters attesting to his health after he suffered a heart attack in the fall.

But Mr. Sheekey said Mr. Sanders didn’t tell the public about it for days and that full details have never been released.

“Now his campaign staff is spreading lies about Mike Bloomberg,” he said. “Facts matter. This isn’t the way to defeat Donald Trump in November.”

Mr. Bloomberg has surged to second place behind Mr. Sanders in some of the recent polling on the 2020 Democratic presidential field.

The two candidates will share the debate stage for the first time Wednesday evening in Las Vegas.

The other candidates participating are former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

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