Clinton campaign sorry for handling of health news, promises more info this week

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stands near the reflecting pools at the 9/11 Memorial near the World Trade Center in New York City on Sunday, on the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Clinton left the memorial early, leading to speculation over her health. Her campaign revealed later that she'd been diagnosed two days earlier with pneumonia. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

NEW YORK, Sept. 12 (UPI) — The campaign of Democratic presidential nominee¬†Hillary Clinton expressed regret Monday for the way it initially handled news concerning the candidate’s health, which sparked questions over her long-term viability as America’s commander-in-chief.

Clinton’s campaign revealed Sunday that the former secretary of state was not feeling well at a 9/11 memorial event. It later stated she was suffering from a bout of pneumonia, which forced her to cancel a campaign stop in California on Monday.

Later Monday, campaign officials said the issue of her health has been blown out of proportion.

“In retrospect, we could have handled it better in terms of providing more information more quickly,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon told NBC News.

“We were focused on making sure to track down her doctor, making sure that she had the quickest possible access to medical attention,” campaign manager Robby Mook added.

As Clinton recovers from the illness, her campaign said there is nothing to be concerned about. It also promised to release additional records this week.

“We’re going to be releasing that to further put to rest any lingering concerns about what you saw [Sunday],” Fallon said.

Questions over Clinton’s health were motivated by her early departure from a 9/11 event in New York City on Sunday. An hour and a half later, her campaign said Clinton had been overheated and dehydrated. News of her pneumonia diagnosis, made Friday, was disclosed later.

“In those 90 minutes, we were putting a priority on making sure she was okay,” Fallon added. “As soon as she got in the vehicle, she was alert the whole time and was telling staff that she was fine. She was actually making calls to aides from the car, and she ended up going to her daughter Chelsea’s apartment.”

She emerged from the apartment just before noon and said she was “feeling great.”

“It’s a beautiful day in New York,” she yelled to reporters across the street.

Fallon said Clinton was not contagious and “it was her intent to press on and not let pneumonia affect her.”

Campaign officials also disputed news reports that Clinton collapsed as she left the 9/11 memorial.

“She did not lose consciousness, she stumbled getting into the van,” Mook said.

“Secretary Clinton has been experiencing a cough related to allergies,” Dr. Lisa R. Bardack said in a statement. “On Friday, during follow-up evaluation of her prolonged cough, she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was put on antibiotics and advised to rest and modify her schedule. While at this morning’s event, she became overheated and dehydrated. I have just examined her and she is now rehydrated and recovering nicely.”

Pneumonia, an inflammatory condition of the lung, causes people to cough and have difficulty breathing. It usually is treated with antibiotics.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has been vocal about Clinton’s health during rallies and on Twitter, was silent Sunday. He also had attended the 9/11 ceremony.

On Monday, he didn’t speculate on why Clinton didn’t reveal the pneumonia diagnosis for two days. He said in a one-minute phone interview on Fox & Friends, “I really just don’t know. I hope she gets well soon. I don’t know what’s going on.”

He noted the coughing fit.

“I see what I see. The coughing fit was a week ago, so I assume that was pneumonia also,” he says. “I mean, I would think it would have been. So something’s going on, but I just hope she gets well and gets back on the trail and we’ll be seeing her at the debate.”

Trump, 70, said he recently had a physical examination and will release the results soon.

“I’ll be releasing, when the numbers come, hopefully they are going to be good, I think they are going to be good, I feel great, but when the numbers come in, I’ll be releasing very, very specific numbers,” he said.

Trump is scheduled to appear Thursday on The Dr. Oz Show presumably to talk about his health. Clinton was scheduled for an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show during her postponed California trip.

Trump was asked on Fox & Friends if the campaign is prepared if Clinton is replaced by vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine or current Vice President Joe Biden.

“I don’t think they’ll replace her,” he said. “We have to see what is wrong.”


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