Suffering from pneumonia, Clinton falls
ill at 9/11 memorial, cancels California trip
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[September 12, 2016]
By Amanda Becker
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton is
suffering from pneumonia, the Democratic presidential candidate's
personal doctor said on Sunday after she fell ill at a Sept. 11
memorial, an episode that renewed focus on her health less than two
months before the election.
Clinton canceled a trip she was scheduled to take to California on
Monday for fundraising and other campaign events, an aide said,
declining to provide further details about her schedule for the week.
Clinton, 68, was diagnosed on Friday but her condition only came to
light several hours after a video on social media appeared to show her
swaying and her knees buckling before being helped into a motorcade as
she left the memorial early Sunday.
Clinton had a medical examination when she got back to her home in
Chappaqua, New York, according to a campaign aide. 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 it was
"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," Bardack said.
Clinton's pneumonia diagnosis comes at a crucial time in the White House
race against Republican rival Donald Trump, who refrained from
commenting on her health on Sunday.
The first of three presidential debates is on Sept. 26 and the election
is on Nov. 8.
Democratic National Committee head Donna Brazile said she was encouraged
that Clinton "already is feeling better" and looked "forward to seeing
her back out on the campaign trail and continuing on the path to
Several Clinton allies said the incident underscored the candidate's
"After being diagnosed with pneumonia, Hillary Clinton ran a two-hour
national security meeting, gave a press conference, and spent an hour
and a half in the heat at a September 11 event," said Peter Daou, who
worked for Clinton in the past and now has a communications firm.
"It was an impressive feat of physical strength that undermined weeks of
Clinton abruptly departed the high-profile, televised event at Ground
Zero and was taken to her daughter Chelsea's home in Manhattan. She
emerged around two hours later on a warm and muggy morning, wearing
sunglasses and telling reporters that she was "feeling great."
The video that showed her swaying and buckling with aides holding her up
came from an unverified Twitter account under the name Zdenek Gazda, who
did not respond to a request for comment.
The Clinton campaign did not respond to repeated requests for comment
about the authenticity of the video.
Political strategists said the campaign should confront the health issue
head-on to tamp down any concerns, particularly as Republican rival
Donald Trump and some of his high-profile supporters have repeatedly
argued that she lacked the "stamina" to battle adversaries abroad.
Bud Jackson, a Virginia-based Democratic strategist, said the statement
from the doctor was a good start. He said the incident should encourage
more transparency from the campaign about her health. “I think they did
the right thing. They had her examined and put out a statement. It means
less speculation,” he said.
As the solemn ceremony began at the site of the World Trade Center that
was attacked by two hijacked airliners 15 years ago, there was patchy
sunlight, with temperatures at about 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6
Celsius). But the high humidity early into the ceremony caused it to
feel much hotter in the crowd at times.
Clinton wore a high-collared shirt and a dark pant suit and donned
sunglasses for the morning event.
[to top of second column]
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton leaves her
daughter Chelsea's home in New York, New York, United States
September 11, 2016, after Clinton left ceremonies commemorating the
15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks feeling "overheated."
Clinton's pneumonia diagnosis follows a wave of conservative
conspiracy theories that circulated in recent weeks suggesting that
Clinton's coughing was a sign of deeper problems.
Clinton's speech at a campaign rally earlier this month in Cleveland
was interrupted by a coughing spell. During the speech, she quipped,
"Every time I think about Trump I get allergic." She then resumed
Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert and senior associate
at the UPMC Center for Health Security in Pittsburgh who is not
treating Clinton, said coughing is a cardinal symptom of pneumonia.
Recovery from pneumonia, the 8th leading cause of death in the
United States, can be variable, he said, adding it takes a week for
most patients to get better. Adults above the age of 65 are at
Past presidential candidates have released much more detailed
information about their health than either Trump, 70, or Clinton.
For example, John McCain, the failed 2008 Republican presidential
nominee, allowed reporters to see 1,173 pages of medical records
after concerns were raised about a cancer scare.
Clinton has been in the news before for serious health issues.
In December 2012, she suffered a concussion and shortly afterward
developed a blood clot.
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.
The diagnosis and illness on Sunday come after 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.
On Saturday, Clinton came under fire from Republicans and on social
media for saying Friday night that "half" of Trump's supporters
belonged in a "basket of deplorables." She later said she regretted
using the word "half."
Trump has also been under pressure to release detailed information
on his health and medical history.
Instead, 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."
(Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York,; Alana Wise,
Emily Stephenson, Jeff Mason and Sarah Lynch in Washington; Writing
by Richard Cowan; Editing by Ross Colvin and Mary Milliken)
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