Sanders 'getting stronger every day,' promises quick return to campaign after heart attack

Sanders 'getting stronger every day,' promises quick return to campaign after heart attack
© Greg Nash

Vermont Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOcasio-Cortez: Sanders' heart attack was a 'gut check' moment Ocasio-Cortez tweets endorsement of Sanders Ocasio-Cortez throws support to Sanders at Queens rally MORE (I) says he is recovering quickly after suffering a heart attack last week and promised to return to the campaign trail “as soon as possible.” 

In a 7-minute-long direct-to-camera video posted on Instagram, which was filmed with the sound of a heart monitor beeping in the background, Sanders reiterated his intention to participate in the Democratic presidential primary debate on Tuesday outside Columbus, Ohio.

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“I am feeling great,” Sanders said. “I’m getting my endurance back and I look forward to getting back on the campaign trail as soon as possible.”

“I am feeling really good and getting stronger every day,” he added. “We’re going to be out there on the campaign trail, we’re gonna be in the debate in Columbus, Ohio next week.”

The Vermont senator opened up about his time “lying in a hospital bed in Las Vegas” after experiencing chest pains. The doctors inserted two stents to address a blocked artery.

Sanders, who is 78, has leaned on the experience to further push his "Medicare for All" plan, warning that many people do not have the level of health coverage that he has, and that ordinary Americans bypass trips to the doctor for medical emergencies all the time over fears they will not be able to afford the medicine or procedures they need.

“What happens if somebody had no health insurance who felt a pain in his or her chest or felt really sick and said to themselves, ‘Do I really want to go to the doctor or the hospital, because I don't have tens of thousands of dollars to pay for the medical bills that I'm gonna incur?' How many people are in that position? How many people have died because they don’t get to the doctor, the hospital when they should?” Sanders said.

“It made me feel even more strongly the need for us to continue our efforts to end this dysfunctional and cruel health care system which leaves so many people uninsured. ... It is an insane, wasteful, bureaucratic system based on the greed of the health care industry,” he added.

Sanders also previewed what he described as the coming showdown between his campaign and the “Democratic establishment” and the “corporate media,” who he said would oppose the radical changes he’s proposing to the multibillion-dollar industries he hopes to reform.

“I know it’s not easy because this particular campaign, we’re taking on everybody,” Sanders said.

“We’re not only taking on Trump and the Republican establishment; we’re not only taking on the Democratic establishment; we’re not only taking on Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military-industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, the corporate media that so often refuses to deal with the real issues facing this country, that’s what we’re taking on. But at the end of the day, if you’re gonna look at yourself in the mirror, you’re gonna say, look, I go around once, I have one life to live. What role do I want to play?”