Clinton, Suffering From Pneumonia, Cancels Trip to CaliforniaBy , , and
Doctor says Clinton ‘recovering nicely’ after examination
New incident fuels speculation about Clinton’s health
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton canceled a two-day trip to California after her campaign disclosed Sunday that she’s suffering from pneumonia.
The cancellation followed Clinton’s abrupt departure from a Sept. 11 commemoration after, her doctor said, she became overheated and dehydrated. She had planned to be in California on Monday and Tuesday for fundraising and an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." The campaign was still evaluating her schedule for the rest of the week.
The pneumonia was diagnosed during an evaluation on Friday after Clinton suffered prolonged coughing bouts related to allergies, Dr. Lisa R. Bardack said in a statement released by Clinton’s campaign. She was prescribed antibiotics and advised to modify her schedule so she can rest.
“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, who also examined Clinton on Sunday at her home in Chappaqua, said.
Clinton’s sudden departure from the ceremony in New York and a bystander’s video showing her appearing to stumble as she was helped into a black van by aides and Secret Service agents is sure to resurface health questions for the 68-year-old candidate. She blamed recent coughing episodes that forced her to interrupt remarks on allergies, but Republicans have sought to raise questions about her fitness for office, particularly following a concussion in 2012 that resulted in a blood clot.
Sept. 11 Ceremony
The former U.S. senator from New York spent about 90 minutes at the Ground Zero memorial in lower Manhattan before departing just before 9:30 a.m. Campaign aides didn’t respond to questions about her whereabouts until spokesman Nick Merrill released a statement at 11 a.m., just as the ceremony ended, saying she was feeling “much better."
Clinton had gone to her daughter Chelsea’s apartment in Manhattan and emerged later to tell reporters, “I’m feeling great.” She then headed to back to her Chappaqua home.
Republican nominee Donald Trump, who is 70, also appeared at the event alongside supporters including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani, who was mayor of New York City during the attacks. Trump and Clinton were about 20 feet apart from one another and didn’t interact while names of the victims were read by their relatives. Trump left shortly after 10:30 a.m. and said before getting into his car that that the ceremony was "amazing." He didn’t comment on Clinton’s health.
The morning started out cool and overcast but by the time the ceremony started, the air was muggy and warm. Clinton and other politicians, including New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, who were with her, were in patchy sunlight. Representative Joe Crowley, a New York Democrat, was also positioned close to Clinton and “it was incredibly stifling,” he said in a phone call to MSNBC. “I was incredibly overheated. I got water.”
During the 90 minutes of silence from the Clinton campaign, a Fox News reporter posted a handful of tweets citing a law enforcement source who said that Clinton had experienced a “medical episode,” adding fuel to speculation about Clinton’s health dating back to a late-2012 concussion, which Trump and others on the right have been using to sow doubts about her fitness to be commander-in-chief.
The 2012 injury occurred after Clinton, then secretary of state, "suffered a stomach virus after traveling, became dehydrated, fainted and sustained a concussion," according to a letter released by her personal physician in July 2015.
The letter stated that overall Clinton "is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States."
Democrats had criticized Republicans and Trump allies for questioning Clinton’s health, saying they were spreading conspiracy theories. For his part, Trump has broken with tradition and has yet to release his full medical records. He is scheduled to appear in a pre-taped interview on Thursday with Mehmet C. Oz, also known as Dr. Oz.
Trump and his aides had decided to institute a political cease-fire of sorts for Sept. 11, urging surrogates today to only use social media to honor men and women in uniform and not to make media appearances. At least one backer, though, ventured that today’s incident raised new questions about Clinton’s health.
"The hide and seek game Hillary is playing with her health must end," Roger Stone, a long-time Trump ally, said. "The woman is not well -- it’s time for her to admit it."
— With assistance by Jennifer Epstein, and Kevin Cirilli