Katie Couric kicked off day one of the 2020 MAKERS Conference Monday with a political panel unpacking the frontrunners in the 2020 Democratic primaries, including Senator Bernie Sanders.
The 78-year-old reportedly took the lead in a new Quinnipiac national poll Monday, just one day before the New Hampshire primary. But while Sanders support may be building, others are criticizing his campaign for walking back a promise to release his medical records in the wake of a heart attack. Speaking with Nina Turner, co-chair of Sanders’s campaign, Couric asked why they had chosen not to share the details of his “clean bill of health.”
“He’s 78. Don’t you think Americans deserve the right to know that he’s healthy and prepared for the rigors of the presidency?” Couric asked.
“Katie, I stopped wearing high-heeled shoes because I have to work with Senator Sanders, he’s more spry than both you and myself,” said Turner, adding that she wears Converse “most of the time” just so she can “keep up” with him.
Turner told Couric that ageism is a “horrible thing,” comparing it to racism and sexism, then insisted that Sanders is fine. “His cardiologist came out and gave him a clean bill of health,” said Turner. “The American people are seeing Bernie Sanders 2.0. Folks couldn’t keep up with him before we knew his arteries were clogged, and we certainly can’t keep up with him now ... the senator is healthy and strong and I don’t believe his doctor would have given him a clean bill of health if he couldn’t have given him a clean bill of health.”
Couric, who spent 15 years as a co-anchor on NBC’s Today show, did not relent, suggesting that the campaign owes it to the public to share his bill of health. “But why not release — sorry, I’m back at the Today show — why not release his comprehensive medical records?” Couric pressed. “I get it, the high heel, that’s funny and he’s full of vim and vigor, but why not release them?”
“Katie it’s true, I see the senator every single day. Senator Bernie Sanders is fine,” Turner replied. “That’s it? That’s all you got?” Couric said. “I’m telling you,” Turner added, “he’s good.”
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