Clinton pledges to release more on her health
Hillary Clinton’s campaign promised to release more details about the state of her health in an attempt to tamp down backlash and speculation after the delayed disclosure of the Democratic presidential nominee’s bout of pneumonia.
Brian Fallon, Clinton’s press secretary, said the campaign erred in not releasing information sooner about the pneumonia diagnosis and the reason for the candidate’s abrupt departure from a Sept 11 commemoration Sunday in New York.
“In retrospect, we could have handled it better in terms of providing more information more quickly,” Fallon said on MSNBC Monday. “It is our intention in the next couple of days — we will be releasing more medical information.”
The sudden focus on Clinton’s health threatened to create a political crisis for her in the closing stretch of the race because of her campaign’s handling of the disclosure as much as the diagnosis itself.
It also prompted Republican nominee Donald Trump to vow he would soon release more information about his own health, an opportunity to quiet critics who say a doctor’s short letter that he already released is insufficient.
Trump, at 70, would be the oldest person to assume the presidency if he gets elected. Clinton, 68, would be the second oldest, after Ronald Reagan.
The Democratic nominee’s aides were moving to contain the damage of an eight-hour delay in releasing basic details about her status that revived scrutiny of her health and longstanding criticism about her lack of transparency.
The Clinton’s campaign handling of the issue risks eroding voter confidence in her as she seeks to preserve a narrow lead in the race over Trump, whose allies have raised questions and stoked rumors about whether Clinton is healthy enough to serve.
Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday, according to her doctor, Lisa R. Bardack. But the campaign did not go public with that until after 5 pm Sunday, New York time, hours after she made an abrupt early departure from a Sept. 11 commemoration at Ground Zero in Manhattan.
While her campaign remained silent for almost 90 minutes — the reporters who travel with the candidate weren’t even notified that Clinton was leaving — an amateur video showing her appearing to stumble as she was helped into a black van by aides and Secret Service shot across social media.
Trump said in a phone interview on Fox News on Monday that he’ll provide a report from a physical exam he underwent in the past week. “I’ll be releasing very, very specific numbers,” he said.
“I hope she gets well soon. I don’t know what’s going on,” Trump said, taking a relatively cautious approach to discussing Clinton’s health. “We have to see what’s wrong.”
Trump said he expected to see Clinton at the first presidential debate on Sept 26 and that he didn’t think Democrats would replace her as their nominee.
In a CNBC interview, Trump said campaigning is “grueling work. There’s no question about it. I find the whole challenge to be very invigorating.”
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Asheville, North Carolina, on Monday.