Clin­ton pledges to re­lease more on her health

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By BLOOMBERG

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.”

Hil­lary Clin­ton

/ MIKE SEGAR REUTERS

Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump speaks at a cam­paign rally in Asheville, North Carolina, on Mon­day.

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