The Bernie Sanders campaign canceled three South Carolina events Saturday afternoon to help the Vermont senator combat a hoarse 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 campaign wrote in an afternoon statement to reporters.
Sanders, whose polling in South Carolina trails his performance nationally, was originally scheduled to join four other candidates next Monday evening at the historic “Galivants Ferry Stump.”
But the 78-year-old presidential candidate has been battling a hoarse voice since Monday, when he rallied with an estimated 10,000 people in Denver. His voice didn’t improve and was noticeably raspy, cracking multiple times Thursday night when he took on nine other candidates during a prime time network debate.
Since the debate, Sanders kept up his aggressive schedule and held five public events throughout Nevada.
“It’s coming back a little bit, you can hear it,” Sanders told NBC News after an event in Las Vegas Saturday.
At that event, he joked with supporters about taking “another commercial break” for water when he paused during his remarks.
Earlier, Sanders took a few breaks to drink water during a speech previewing his $2.5 trillion national housing plan, apologizing at the beginning of his remarks for having lost his voice “somewhere in Colorado.”
“I’ve been giving too many speeches lately, sometimes I forget that microphones work pretty well,” he told NBC News with a smile.
Aides to Sanders insist the senator is not feeling ill and say he plans to return to the trail Tuesday in Philadelphia. Sanders also told NBC News he will release medical records before the primary.
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “The American people have the right to know about whether the person they are going to be voting for for president is healthy.”
Sanders is already scheduled to return to South Carolina next weekend for events on college campuses.