Health

Former Vice President Pence gets pacemaker implanted, expects full recovery

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announces the Trump administration’s plan to create the U.S. Space Force by 2020 during a speech at the Pentagon on August 9, 2018 in Arlington, Virginia.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence had surgery to have a pacemaker implanted after “symptoms related to a slow heart rate,” his office said Thursday, NBC News reported.

The “routine operation” was successfully carried out on Wednesday, according to Pence’s office, according to which the 61-year-old former vice president is “expected to recover fully and return to normal activity in the coming days.”

The statement stated that Pence’s medical history included a diagnosis of asymptomatic left bundle branch block. He’s had symptoms for the past two weeks and consulted his doctors before undergoing the procedure at the Inova Fairfax Medical campus in Falls Church, Virginia.

“I am grateful for the prompt professionalism and care of the excellent doctors, nurses and staff at Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, including Dr. Brett Atwater and Dr. Behnam Tehrani,” said Pence in the statement.

“I also appreciate the advice of my longtime Indiana doctors, Dr. Michael Busk and Dr. Charles Taliercio of Ascension St. Vincent. My family has been truly blessed by the work of these dedicated health professionals,” said Pence.

Kevin McCarthy, minority chairman of the House of Representatives, R-Calif., Tweeted a message of support to Pence later Thursday.

Pence is widely rumored to be laying the groundwork for a possible 2024 presidential election. However, a candidate’s health and medical history can often have a significant impact on a political campaign.

For example, former President Donald Trump’s state of health underwent an in-depth review in the final months of his re-election bid when he was hospitalized with the coronavirus. Critics had already accused Trump, who is overweight and known to have poor diet, of having misled his medical records.

Campaigns themselves can also be physically and mentally demanding. In 2016, for example, the impotent episode of then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton dominated the headlines at an anniversary ceremony on September 11th.

Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Had a heart attack while running for president in October 2019. He returned to campaigning later that month.

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Robert Dunfee