U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, suffering from a stomach virus, sustained a concussion after becoming dehydrated and fainting, a State Department aide said in a statement yesterday.
Clinton is being monitored by her doctors, Phillipe Reines, deputy assistant secretary of state, said in the statement. At the recommendation of doctors, she will work from home this week, Reines said.
Clinton won’t testify as scheduled at Dec. 20 hearings on the Sept. 11 attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, congressional aides said.
“Secretary Clinton’s team contacted Senator Kerry this morning to inform them of the secretary’s concussion,” Jodi Seth, a spokeswoman for Senator John Kerry, said in a statement.
Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “insisted that given her condition, she could not and should not appear on Thursday,” Seth said. William Burns and Thomas Nides, deputy secretaries of state, will appear in her place, Seth said yesterday.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee also said Burns and Nides will testify instead of Clinton. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, head of the House committee, said in a statement that it is “unfortunate” that Clinton won’t be able to testify this week.
The committee hearing on Benghazi “requires a public appearance by the secretary of state herself,” the Florida Republican said in the statement.
Clinton became ill and canceled her plans to participate in a meeting of Syrian opposition groups in Morocco, a State Department official said Dec. 10. She suffered the concussion last week and was taken to a Washington-area hospital for treatment, according to a State Department official who asked not to be identified discussing details of her illness.
``We recommended that the secretary continue to rest and avoid any strenuous activity, and strongly advised her to cancel all work events for the coming week,'' Clinton's doctors, Lisa Bardack and Gigi El-Bayoumi, said in a statement issued by the State Department. ``We will continue to monitor her progress as she makes a full recovery.''