Gupta reported that the Bush campaign was concerned enough about Cheney’s health before Bush chose him as his choice of vice president for campaign staff to question Cooley about it. Modern Healthcare Hall of Fame member Cooley reportedly gave his opinion after speaking with Cheney’s cardiologist Dr Jonathan Reiner, but without examining Cheney.
Gupta told Cheney that Cooley’s statement about normal heart function was not true. Cheney said, “I am not responsible for this. I didn’t know what had happened between the doctors.
Gupta: “But sir, you saw it.”
Cheney: Listen to me, I think the bottom line is, was I up to the task of being vice president? And there is no doubt. I think based on the fact that I did it for eight years, they were right.
Several months later, during the Bush-Gore electoral recount, Cheney had another heart attack and needed a stent to keep a blocked artery open.
And right after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Reiner received the results of a blood test from Cheney showing dangerously high levels of potassium, a condition called hyperkalemia, which can be fatal.
In 60 Minutes on Sunday night, Reiner told Gupta, “Yeah, I stayed awake that night, you know, watching the towers reruns crumble and now thinking, ‘Oh great, the vice president is going. die tonight of hyperkalemia. “
Gupta also asked Cheney about the state of his cognitive health linked to his cardiovascular disease when making decisions about war and peace.
Gupta: “Were you worried that your physical health was impacting your judgment and cognition? “
Gupta: “Did they talk about potential side effects due to the limited blood flow to the brain, on cognition, on judgment? …
Cheney: “Yes. “
Gupta:… “You weren’t worried about that?” “
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