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Hillary Diagnosed with Pneumonia, Will Trump Campaign “Milk It”?

Hillary Clinton was taken to her daughter’s apartment after she felt “overheated” during a 9/11 memorial.

Updated
World
5 min read
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves after leaving an apartment building on Sunday. (Photo: AP)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton fell ill, on Sunday, as she became “overheated” and had to leave early from a September 11 memorial ceremony in New York City.

Her doctor, Lisa Bardack, said in a statement that she has been experiencing a cough related to allergies and that an examination on Friday showed that she was suffering from pneumonia.

She was put on antibiotics and advised to rest and modify her schedule. While at this morning’s event, she became overheated and dehydrated. I have just examined her and she is now re-hydrated and recovering nicely.
Lisa Bardack, Hillary Clinton’s doctor

A video posted to social media showed Clinton being held up by her aide. As her motorcade approached, Clinton was seen almost collapsing as she was being helped into the van.

Clinton, 68, was taken to her daughter Chelsea’s home in Manhattan.

Around two hours later she emerged wearing sunglasses and telling reporters that she was “feeling great”.

Hillary’s whereabouts in those 90 minutes remain unconfirmed as no media person was allowed to follow her after she fell sick.

Clinton’s doctor reportedly said that she was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday, although the report hasn’t been confirmed yet.

Clinton left the memorial event after about 90 minutes while it was still underway, Nick Merrill, a Clinton spokesman, said.

During the ceremony, she felt overheated so departed to go to her daughter’s apartment, and is feeling much better.
Nick Merrill, Spokesperson of Hillary Clinton

Democratic Representative Joe Crowley of New York, a Clinton supporter who attended the event, told Reuters that it was “incredibly, stiflingly hot” during the ceremony.

Clinton had no more events scheduled for Sunday and hence went to her home in Chappaqua, New York, 30 miles (50 km) north of New York City.

The incident comes less than 60 days before the presidential election which is set to take place on 8 November, and at a time of intense campaigning against Republican rival Donald Trump.

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Conspiracy Theories on Hillary’s Health

Clinton has been in the news before for serious health issues.

Trump has repeatedly raised questions about Clinton’s health saying that she “lacks the mental and physical stamina to take down ISIS”.

Other than that, several conspiracy theories regarding Hillary’s failing health have been doing the rounds on social media platforms.

Trump supporters have been tweeting unsubstantiated theories regarding Clinton’s health under the hashtag #HillarysHealth.

Fox News presenter, Sean Hannity ran several segments on Hillary Clinton’s health on his primetime show, claiming that she suffers from seizures.

Some other reports claimed that Hillary never recovered from the blood clot that developed after she suffered a concussion in December 2012.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gets into a van as she leaves after feeling “overheated”. (Photo: AP)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gets into a van as she leaves after feeling “overheated”. (Photo: AP)
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Hillary Brushes Aside Theories

In a letter released by her doctor in July 2015, Clinton was described as being in “excellent health” and “fit to serve” in the White House. It noted that her current medical conditions include hyperthyroidism and seasonal pollen allergies.

Clinton’s speech at a campaign rally earlier this month in Cleveland, on Labour Day, was interrupted by a coughing spell. During the speech, she quipped, “Every time I think about Trump I get allergic.” She then resumed her speech.

However brief her illness was, it comes in the wake of some tough days for Clinton, as national polls showed her lead over Trump diminishing. A Reuters/Ipsos poll of likely voters showed an 8-point lead for Clinton had vanished by the last week of August.

Responding to the conspiracy theories, Hillary had said that earlier that she wasn’t going to be distracted by them as they were not rooted in facts.

However, Bud Jackson, a Virginia-based Democratic strategist said:

The bottom line is the Clinton campaign is going to have to be completely forthright about Clinton’s health

Jackson suggested that “it would not be a bad move” if the campaign released more information in a crucial time of the race in which conservatives have touted conspiracies about Clinton’s health.

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Will Hillary’s Health Give Trump a Leverage?

Unlike the episode of her coughing bout, on Labor Day, Clinton’s “overheating”, on Sunday morning invited a lot of curiosity with only 58 days being left for a new president to be elected.

Republican strategist Art Hackney of Alaska, who chaired former President George W. Bush’s campaigns there, doubted Sunday’s health scare will fade away quickly, saying that the Trump campaign “will milk it.”

These things tend to be fanned; the flames fanned like crazy by those who will use it to make one story take attention away from other stories.

A report in The Washington Post stated that this episode has forced open the necessity for Hillary to talk about her health in view of the presidential race.

Clinton and her team simply need to say something about what happened (and why the press was in the dark for so long.
The Washington Post report
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton attending a September 11 memorial, in New York, Sunday. (Photo: AP)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton attending a September 11 memorial, in New York, Sunday. (Photo: AP)

When asked about Clinton’s early exit, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said he didn’t know anything about it, Fox News reported. But Rep Peter King told a reporter from The Washington Post that during the ceremony it was Trump who informed him of Clinton’s health issue.

70-year-old Donald Trump, who is two years older than Hillary, has also been under pressure to release detailed information on his health and medical history.

In December, Trump’s doctor wrote in a short letter that was made public that his blood pressure and laboratory results “were astonishingly excellent” and that he would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

Since then, the doctor has told NBC News that he wrote the letter in about five minutes, saying he was “rushed” and “anxious” as a limousine was awaiting him.

(Source: Reuters, Fox News, The Washington Post)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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