Bernie Sanders announced on Saturday that he’s taking some time off from his 2020 campaign to rest his voice, NBC News reports. He’s already canceled three upcoming events in South Carolina, and it remains unclear how long he’ll be off the campaign trail.
Observers have been noting the hoarseness of Sanders’ voice for the past few days. On Monday, speaking to a crowd of 10,000 people in Denver, Sanders’ voice was noticeably strained. On Thursday night, in front of a national TV audience, Sanders debated nine other Democratic contenders, and his raspy and hoarse voice was equally evident. He also took multiple water breaks during the debate.
Still, Sanders didn’t slow down, making five campaign stops in Nevada over the following days.
Now, however, the rigors of campaigning and multiple daily public speaking appearances are catching up with him, and he’s announced that he is going to take some time off.
In a statement, Sanders’ campaign confirmed that the Senator is taking a while off to rest his voice.
“After a vigorous campaign schedule, Sen. Bernie Sanders will return home following his appearance on Sunday at the College of Charleston’s “Bully Pulpit” series in order to rest his voice,” the statement reads.
How long Sanders will be off, and how many scheduled appearances he’ll miss, remains unclear as of this writing. However, Sanders has several events planned for next weekend at colleges and universities across South Carolina, and — as of this writing — those are still scheduled.
Already he’s canceled a planned event in South Carolina, where on Monday night he was to appear with four other Democratic 2020 candidates at the “Galivants Ferry Stump.”
Joking with NBC News reporters, Sanders notes that he’s been yelling, even though he doesn’t need to.
“I’ve been giving too many speeches lately, sometimes I forget that microphones work pretty well,” he said.
Sanders’ team brushed off any suggestions that the aging candidate is ill, and indeed, Sanders himself said that his physical health is not in question.
“The American people have the right to know about whether the person they are going to be voting for for president is healthy,” he said.
Sanders has also promised to release his medical records before the primaries begin.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Sanders still trails Joe Biden among the crowded field of 2020 Democratic nominees, according to a poll taken shortly after Thursday night’s debate. Biden’s performance at the debate has been roundly criticized, but Democratic voters appear to have largely shrugged it off.