Senator Bernie Sanders, recovering in a Las Vegas hospital from a procedure to treat a clogged artery, should be able to return home by the end of this weekend and will participate in the next Democratic debate, his wife, Jane Sanders, said Thursday.
“Bernie is up and about,” Ms. Sanders said in a statement on Thursday. “We expect Bernie will be discharged and on a plane back to Burlington before the end of the weekend.”
Mr. Sanders’s campaign has declined to say whether suffered a heart attack, and his wife’s statement did not address that. She did not specify whether Mr. Sanders, 78, would be discharged sooner than the weekend and remain in Las Vegas before returning home.
On Wednesday, Mr. Sanders’s campaign said he experienced “some chest discomfort’’ during an event on Tuesday evening; a medical evaluation found blockage in one artery, and two stents were inserted. He has canceled a two-day college tour this week in California, and his aides have not said when he would return to the campaign trail.
In her statement, Ms. Sanders, who traveled on Wednesday to Las Vegas and is now with Mr. Sanders as he recovers, said her husband was in a buoyant mood, that doctors were “pleased” with Mr. Sanders’s progress and that he had not needed any additional procedures.
Internally, the campaign is trying to keep its staff motivated. Two advisers, Nina Turner and Jeff Weaver, led an all-staff conference call on Thursdayt, according to a campaign aide. “We are not taking our foot off the gas,” Ms. Turner said.
Still, the incident is likely to intensify the focus on Mr. Sanders’s age but also on age generally in the Democratic race, where the three top candidates — Mr. Sander, s Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Elizabeth Warren — are all in their 70s.
But if allies are projecting optimism about his ability to return to the race in full form, the medical episode has also cast a shadow over his candidacy just as he was trying to reinvigorate his campaign. In recent weeks, he has tried to improve his standing in the race by overtly stressing his electability — an attempt to draw a contrast to Mr. Biden and Ms. Warren, who has continued to surge. On Tuesday, the campaign trumpeted its $25.3 million third-quarter fund-raising haul as it looked to put its summer woes behind it.
Mr. Sanders’s heart trouble, however, could complicate his argument that he is the best positioned to defeat President Trump in the general election. On Wednesday, his campaign said he was postponing a highly-touted $1.3 million television ad buy in Iowa.
His campaign’s reluctance to provide much information about his health has also not helped to quell concern.
Rebecca Katz, a progressive strategist who is not aligned with any candidate this cycle, said the Sanders campaign should be in “rapid response mode and giving out as many answers about Sanders’s health as possible before more questions pile up.”
“If everything is fine,” she said, “The campaign should be operating as normal.”
Since Wednesday, campaign aides have been trying to put the episode in a positive light, with some tweeting and re-tweeting well-wishes and encouragement. Surrogates and supporters have also expressed their support. Some supporters have leveraged the episode into a rallying cry for fund-raising.
Mr. Sanders himself sent out a tweet on Wednesday thanking his well-wishers and using the opportunity to plug Medicare for All. The tweet prompted some allies to praise him for being so devoted to his message.
Shortly after 11 a.m. on Thursday, the campaign sent out a press advisory that said Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan and a national campaign co-chair, planned to campaign for Mr. Sanders this weekend in New Hampshire.