On Friday, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders delivered a speech that included a touching reminder of his father’s legacy.
During his speech at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Vermont senator talked about the “deep sadness” he felt when he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
“We mourned my father’s passing.
And then we were confronted with the devastating truth: His diagnosis was the result of an unjustifiable and excessive use of the drug paracetamol,” Sanders said, referring to the painkiller he used to treat his cancer.
“It was, in a sense, like a doctor taking a prescription, and we were not going to be able to do anything about it.”
“The drug that helped me live a life of dignity and independence was, by its very nature, a dangerous and addictive drug,” he added.
“And so we were told to take it.
But we should not have to take paracetomol because the doctors told us to.”
Bernie Sanders speaks at the university in Madison.
(AP)While Sanders is certainly correct that it’s dangerous and sometimes deadly to take drugs, it’s not clear how this particular drug could have caused his cancer to spread to his brain.
“I would suggest that the paracetaminol was, perhaps, an early warning system,” a source familiar with the situation told ABC News, adding that Sanders was “a bit lucky” to have had the medication available.
“If he had taken paracetampax instead of aspirin, he would have been dead.”
Sanders said he was “heartbroken” to learn that his father had died.
“The diagnosis was made based on what was going on in my family, and my father knew how to handle his own health,” he said.
“But I was so determined to fight back, and I wanted to be a senator because that was where I believed in the country.
And I believe that the fight for health care and the fight to make the United States the healthiest nation in the world can be the fight against drugs.”
Sanders has been a staunch advocate for higher taxes on the wealthy and for a massive expansion of Social Security benefits.
Sanders has long called for Medicare to be expanded to include private insurance, but he also supports expanding Social Security to pay for private insurance.ABC News’ David Jackson contributed to this report.