US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has undergone an unexpected heart procedure for a blocked artery and cancelled campaign events until further notice.
Senator Sanders, 78, was in Las Vegas, Nevada, for 2020 presidential campaign events when he experienced discomfort and was taken to a hospital for evaluation, an adviser said.
“Following medical evaluation and testing he was found to have a blockage in one artery and two stents were successfully inserted,” Senator Sanders’ senior adviser Jeff Weaver said in a statement.
“(Senator) Sanders is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days. We are cancelling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates,” he said.
“He will be resting up over the next few days. We are cancelling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates.”
Senator Sanders later wrote on Twitter that he was “feeling good.”
His wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, was on her way to Las Vegas and said her husband was “doing really well”, according to AP.
The US senator from Vermont has been among the top contenders in the crowded field seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump.
Senator Sanders – a self-described Democratic socialist – pushed 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton right to the wire three years ago and is sitting third in the polls this time around.
He was one of the first to argue loudly for taxing the rich and for the introduction of universal health care, policies now embraced by some of the other candidates.
His Democratic rivals rushed to wish the senator a swift recovery.
“Anyone who knows Bernie understands what a force he is. We are confident that he will have a full and speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him on the trail soon,” tweeted Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.
Senator Sanders thanked well-wishers and used the opportunity to trumpet one of his key election pledges.
“I’m fortunate to have good health care and great doctors and nurses helping me to recover,” he tweeted.
“None of us know when a medical emergency might affect us. And no one should fear going bankrupt if it occurs. Medicare for All!”
The senator has served in Congress as an independent aligned with Democrats since 1991, first as a representative of Vermont and then, since 2007, as the state’s junior senator.