Mark Ruffalo invokes his own brain tumour to back John Fetterman: ‘This is a minor thing that passes’

Hulk actor says he relates to Democrat recovering from stroke after his own health struggle

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Thursday 27 October 2022 12:11 EDT

Related Video: Fetterman mocks Oz’s abortion remarks as he acknowledges ‘missing words’ at debate

Actor Mark Ruffalo is drawing on his own personal experience to voice his support for John Fetterman in the Pennsylvania Senate race.

The Democrat candidate appeared on stage in the state capital Harrisburg on Tuesday night to face off against Republican opponent Dr Mehmet Oz in their only debate of the 2022 midterms.

Mr Fetterman, a passionate public servant who rose from mayor of the city of Braddock to become Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, is recovering from the after-effects of a stroke he suffered in May, and at times struggled during the debate.

In support of Mr Fetterman, Mr Ruffalo retweeted a video post from Real Doctors Against Oz, adding his own message.

“As someone who suffered a brain tumour and temporary cognitive dysfunction, I can relate to John. This is a minor thing that passes,” he wrote.

“These hard times just make us stronger, more compassionate people and better leaders. @JohnFetterman has got guts and heart. #VoteGutsAndHeartJohn.”

The accompanying video is a clip from Tuesday’s debate in which Dr Oz responds to a question on vocational training by saying: “I have an answer, but John I obviously wasn’t clear enough for you to understand this.”

Real Doctors Against Oz captioned the video: “REAL doctors don’t condescendingly mock patients who are recovering from a stroke. Here’s the truth: In January, John is going to be a lot better – but Dr Oz will still be a fraud.”

While filming 2001’s The Last Castle, Mr Ruffalo was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It turned out to be benign, but the operation to remove it left one side of his face paralysed for a year, and he is still deaf in his left ear.

Most widely known for his role as Hulk in the Avengers movies, Mr Ruffalo does not shy away from politics and is a fierce supporter of Bernie Sanders.

He has also been particularly vocal when it comes to abortion rights, as well as using his clout to campaign against fracking, and to spearhead a three million-strong petition calling on leaders to commit to renewable energy.

Speaking to The Independent in early 2020 he described Donald Trump as “public enemy number one”.

“Everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie,” he said. “This dude is standing in the way of anything significant happening in the world as far as climate change is concerned. It’s f***ing terrifying and it keeps me up at night. Most people don’t realise what’s coming. Countries are freaking out about Syrians coming, a few thousand Syrians. We are approaching mass extinctions, food systems failing, hundreds of millions of displaced people looking for places that are hospitable.”

He added: “In my country, half of the political system doesn’t believe in [climate change], in science. I’m inviting the rest of the world to get involved in our next election, because the fate of the world is in the f***ing balance. And you can print that.”

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