An ill Hillary Rodham Clinton abruptly left a 9/11 anniversary ceremony on Sunday and needed to be held up by three people before she appeared to stumble off a curb and was helped into a van.
Several hours later, the US Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign revealed she had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday and advised to rest.
Less than two months from Election Day, it was an unwanted visual for Clinton as she tries to project the strength and vigor needed for one of the world’s most demanding jobs. Republican rival Donald Trump has spent months questioning Clinton’s health, saying she lacks the stamina to be president.
In a statement, Clinton’s doctor, Lisa Bardack, said that the former secretary of state had become overheated and dehydrated at the event in lower Manhattan.
“I have just examined her and she is now rehydrated and recovering nicely,” Bardack said.
The physician said Clinton has had an allergy-related cough, and that during a follow-up examination on Friday, the candidate was diagnosed with pneumonia, put on antibiotics, advised to rest and modify her schedule.
Clinton’s departure from the event was not witnessed by the reporters who travel with her campaign and aides provided no information about why she left or her whereabouts for nearly two hours.
Spokesman Nick Merrill eventually said Clinton had gone to her daughter’s nearby apartment, but refused to say whether she had required medical attention.
Clinton exited the apartment on her own shortly before noon.
She waved to reporters and said: “I’m feeling great. It’s a beautiful day in New York.”
In the meantime, a video surfaced on Twitter that showed Clinton being held up by aides as a black van pulls up. She stumbles and appears to fall off the curb as she is helped inside.
After leaving her daughter’s apartment, Clinton was driven to her home in Chappaqua, New York, and made no public appearances. She later called off plans to fly to California yesterday morning for two days of fundraising, campaign events and an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show.
Trump, who attended the same event marking the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, was noticeably restrained.
Asked about Clinton’s health incident, Trump said: “I don’t know anything.”
Clinton is sure to face new questions about whether she’s physically fit for the presidency. Trump and his supporters have been hinting at potential health issues for months, questioning Clinton’s stamina when she takes routine days off the campaign trail and reviving questions about a concussion she sustained in December 2012 after fainting. Her doctor attributed that episode to a stomach virus and dehydration.
Clinton’s doctor reported she is fully recovered from the concussion, which led to temporary double vision and discovery of a blood clot in a vein in the space between her brain and skull. Clinton has also experienced deep vein thrombosis, a clot usually in the leg, and takes the blood thinner Coumadin to prevent new clots.
Clinton spent about 90 minutes at the 9/11 event on Sunday, standing alongside numerous other dignitaries, including New York Democratic senators Chuck Schumer and Kirstin Gillibrand. The weather was warm and humid in New York on Sunday, and there was a breeze at the crowded memorial plaza during the ceremony.
Democratic Representative Joe Crowley said he spent time before the ceremony chatting with Clinton and watching her sign autographs and take pictures.
He said he was standing behind her during the remembrance and “she did not seem out of the ordinary at all.”
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