McCain in Great Health, Will ABC Apologize for Thursday's Dire Report?

May 23rd, 2008 10:07 AM

Despite ABC News's concerns about Republican presidential candidate John McCain's health, 1,173 pages of medical records just released to the press show the Arizona senator "appears cancer-free, has a strong heart and is in otherwise general good health."

This is in stark contrast to a segment on Thursday's "World News with Charles Gibson" (reported by my colleague Brent Baker) which addressed concerns about McCain having suffered "physical" and "psychological damage" while "he was in captivity in North Vietnam," and him having "about a 30 percent chance of developing serious memory loss or even dementia."

Makes you wonder if Gibson will do a follow-up report Friday evening to address the medical information just analyzed by the Associated Press (emphasis added):

Three-time melanoma survivor John McCain appears cancer-free, has a strong heart and is in otherwise general good health, according to eight years of medical records reviewed by The Associated Press.

The Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting remains at risk for developing new skin cancers, and gets a thorough check by a Mayo Clinic dermatologist every few months.

"I do not see any worrisome lesions," Dr. Suzanne Connolly concluded after McCain's most recent exam, on May 12.

The details of McCain's health are contained in 1,173 pages of medical documents spanning 2000 to 2008 that his campaign made available to the AP to make the case that he's healthy enough to serve as president, as well as to counter the notion that he's too old. The Arizona senator will turn 72 in August and would be the oldest elected president.

Like many aging Americans, McCain takes medicine to keep his cholesterol in check.

But Mayo internist Dr. John Eckstein, his longtime personal physician, lauded McCain's performance on a heart stress test - sweating it out for 10 minutes when Eckstein routinely sees patients decades younger quit at five or seven minutes.

"I think physiologically he is considerably younger than his chronologic age based on his cardiovascular fitness," Eckstein said in an interview Thursday. "I got a call from the cardiologist who said that he had not seen anyone that age exercise for that long in a long time."

Will this be covered tonight by Gibson with an apology for Thursday's report?

Stay tuned.