Cheney discuses heart problems in new book, TV interviews

Oct. 19, 2013 at 1:00 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney says he had a doctor disable the wireless function on his implanted defibrillator so terrorists could not hack it.

In an interview to be aired Sunday on the CBS news show "60 Minutes" and on CNN Tuesday, Cheney discussed his medical problems. His new book, "Heart," describes them in greater detail.

Cheney told Dr. Sanjay Gupta he had the heart defibrillator functions altered in 2007 because he was afraid that terrorists had acquired the technology that would allow them to use it to kill him remotely.

A few years later, he watched an episode of the Showtime series "Homeland" that showed that being done. He said the plot was credible "because I know from the experience we had and the necessity for adjusting my own device that it was an accurate portrayal of what was possible."

Cheney had a heart transplant after years of problems that began with his first -- of five -- heart attacks at the age of 37. He also told Gupta of a lifestyle that contributed to those attacks, that he smoked three packs of cigarettes a day and ate a dozen donuts while he was chief of staff to President Gerald Ford in his early 30s.

When he was vice president, Cheney had a letter of resignation already written to be used if he became disabled. In 2010, his health was so bad he actually made funeral plans.

Gupta said that Cheney, at the age of 78, appears vigorous and says he can do almost anything he wants. The big exception is skiing and that is because of knee problems.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories