Hillary Clinton’s campaign was forced to disclose she’s been battling pneumonia and canceled a West Coast trip after she suddenly collapsed following a 9/11 memorial event in New York City — an episode that poured gasoline on the social media flame war over her health between her backers and those of rival Donald Trump.
Clinton’s campaign issued a statement yesterday from her doctor, Lisa R. Bardack, that said the Democratic presidential nominee had been “experiencing a cough related to allergies,” and that the 68-year-old was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday after a follow-up evaluation.
“She was put on antibiotics, and advised to rest and modify her schedule,” Bardack’s statement read. “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.”
Last night, the campaign canceled Clinton’s West Coast trip. She was due in San Francisco and Los Angeles today for fundraisers.
Clinton left yesterday’s event — which marked the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks — after about 90 minutes.
A senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the matter said later that after leaving the memorial plaza, Clinton was observed “fainting” in a departure area. Video taken at the scene and posted on social media shows Clinton being held up by three people. She staggers and appears to trip off a curb, her right foot briefly dragging on the ground as she’s lifted into a vehicle.
Initially, her campaign spokesman only said she had “felt overheated so departed to go to her daughter’s apartment, and is feeling much better.”
Upon exiting her daughter Chelsea’s apartment, a smiling Clinton told assembled media she was “feeling great,” and that it was a “beautiful day in New York.” She did not respond to questions about what had happened to her at the event.
Questions about Clinton’s health and speculation about her recent coughing fits have been a drumbeat for Trump supporters in recent weeks, many of them galvanized by Clinton’s characterization of them last week as a “bucket of deplorables.”
The Twitter hashtag #HillarysHealth was trending throughout the day yesterday, and even stalwart liberals such as filmmaker Michael Moore began to express doubts about Clinton’s viability.
“Well, pneumonia. That’s serious. Campaign kept it hidden Fri/Sat/Sun. No wonder the crazies get traction. Dems are pros at losing elections,” Moore tweeted last night.
Trump — who along with Clinton pledged to abstain from campaigning and politicking yesterday in observance of 9/11 — was silent on the controversy, responding, “I don’t know anything about it,” when asked by reporters about Clinton’s episode.
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