There have been speculations about Hillary Clinton’s health for years particularly after she suffered a concussion in 2012. Over the past few months, a photograph of the Democratic nominee for president being helped up the stairs back in February surfaced. In July, some pundits noticed Mrs. Clinton being helped up the stairs of a stage at a campaign event by her running mate Tim Kaine. Mrs. Clinton laughed off concerns about her health by opening a pickle jar on Jimmy Kimmel Live to demonstrate her strength and vitality. A week ago, Mrs. Clinton had a coughing fit while delivering a speech at a Labor Day event. While the coughing episode did renew some focus on the health question, many took the candidate at her word when she said the cough was due to “allergies.” Well, now the scenario has changed.
On Sunday, Mrs. Clinton had a ”medical episode” during a September 11 memorial event at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan honoring the victims of the terrorist attack which took place on September 11, 2001. Mrs. Clinton, who unexpectedly left the event was videotaped getting into a car after staggering and falling. The Clinton campaign said that Mrs.Clinton left early due to being “overheated.” Interestingly enough, it was not an especially warm day. Mrs. Clinton was then taken to her daughter Chelsea’s apartment which is also in lower Manhattan. When Mrs. Clinton departed from Chelsea’s apartment several hours later, she appeared to have regained her composure. Several hours later the Clinton campaign released a statement saying that Mrs. Clinton had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday. We have since also learned that Mrs. Clinton has cancelled her plans to spend Monday and Tuesday in California at fundraising events and will instead rest at her home in Chappaqua, New York. Mrs. Clinton is reportedly still planning on being in Nevada for some public events on Wednesday.
Hillary Clinton will turn 69 in October. She has been campaigning at a frenetic pace which would probably challenge most 40-year-olds. If she was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday, why didn’t the campaign make a formal announcement about the situation then? Also why did her campaign staff continue with plans to send her to the West Coast? Obviously, she wanted to be present at September 11 event because other VIP’s would be there including Republican nominee Donald Trump. Her not being present at the event would have garnered questions and criticisms. However, it still would have been possible for the Clinton campaign to have issued a statement that Mrs. Clinton was suffering from pneumonia and would have only been able to make a brief appearance.
Now, Clinton is experiencing the worst of all possible outcomes. Firstly, her “medical episode” took attention away from the September 11 event’s intended somber focus. Secondly, public concern about her health has gone from being perhaps a secondary or a tertiary issue to a primary issue. Obviously, both Clinton and Donald Trump – who is 70 years old – need to release their medical records. The Clinton campaign’s failure to communicate clearly about the candidate’s health has created a breeding ground for speculation where individuals and some medical personnel have started spreading “theories” about the nature of Mrs. Clinton’s “illness.” In addition , many are now saying that Clinton’s having pneumonia, or for that matter, any other ailment will have a negative impact on the financial markets as it feeds the notion that she is not fit to be president and will need to be replaced by Tim Kaine or Joe Biden, etc. Thirdly, the campaign’s hiding information and changing talking points back and forth builds the growing perception that Mrs. Clinton is not truthful and is not to be trusted.
The first Clinton-Trump debate is scheduled for September 26. Even if both Clinton and Trump release their medical records before that date, a portion of the debate is now going to be dedicated to ascertaining whether Mrs. Clinton is physically and mentally capable of serving as our nation’s 45th president.
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