By Barrett Westberg
Congressional candidate in CD1, State Representative Adam Kwasman held a press conference on Thursday to address questions about his health. In front of the state seal, he claimed that although he has Leukemia, he is healthy.
A year ago, Kwasman was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Kwasman also issued a statement in which he reported that his “CLL was caught at its earliest stage. My doctors are confident that I will remain generally healthy, that this will have no effect on how I serve in Congress, and that I will become cancer free. As the number of people in my life who learned about my diagnosis grew, it was inevitably going to surface, and I wanted to make sure it surfaced correctly and without political spin.”
Kwasman is being cared for by oncologist, Dr. Daniel Persky, of the UA Cancer Center.
“I led the fight against ObamaCare before I had cancer, now I’m not just fighting for the people of Arizona, I’m fighting for my own health. I am thankful for the prayers of my friends, family and constituents, and I am eager and fit to serve the people of the First District,” stated Kwasman.
Kwasman displayed a medal from a race he ran last year to prove his health. Kwasman denied that this was a political move, or that he was saying it two weeks from the primary for sympathy votes.
Kwasman claimed that the only reason he was addressing the issue at all was to squash the rumors. He found out about his condition last year, and if left up to him, he would not mention it to the public. Kwasman used to put on a red clown nose when lobbyists visited him in his office and start selling their programs. On Thursday, he should have put it on to answer some of the inane questions by reporters.
The situation raises many questions: How much is too much to know about our political leaders? Must they all disclose preexisting health conditions? What about mental health? What if they are diagnosed while in office? What constitutes a health condition worth mentioning?
Kwasman argued that the Leukemia will not affect his ability to do his job, so he felt no need to disclose it. He said he wasn’t sure how the information got out, but at this point he wanted everyone to know that he’s fine.
His illness has been known about for some time, and was the worst kept secret in the state.
If their health is in question, must our political leaders provide documentation proving they are fit for office? Why hide it? Most likely he kept it quiet because he believed it would be exploited by some.
Kwasman mentioned the Affordable Care Act, which he stated was unconstitutional and fiscally unsustainable. He’s not alone in thinking that the Supreme Court made the wrong decision, and he blamed Republicans and Democrats for not coming up with something better. He took the opportunity to do a little campaigning, and promised that regardless of his condition his views are the same, which vaguely includes, “conservative solutions that are sustainable and viable.”