Report: Clinton Campaign Staffers Were Infected With Same Bug That Hit Hillary

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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Senior members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign were felled by the same bug that caused the presidential candidate to faint on Sunday, campaign sources are claiming.

“Everyone’s been sick,” one anonymous campaign source told People magazine.

On Sunday, Clinton went wobbly and appeared to faint after cutting short her visit to the 9/11 memorial service in New York City. The campaign initially claimed that Clinton left the event because she felt “overheated.” But after videos emerged showing her being dragged into her campaign van after fainting, the campaign was forced to acknowledge that the former first lady had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday.

People’s source claims that others in the campaign have been sick recently as well. According to the magazine:

At the end of August, two weeks before Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia, a debilitating bug was making the rounds among staff at her headquarters and campaign aides who travel with Clinton, a source tells PEOPLE.

At least half a dozen senior staff were felled, including campaign manager Robby Mook. Two top advisers even needed emergency medical treatment, the source says. One top adviser diagnosed at a Brooklyn urgent-care center with a respiratory infection was being treated with antibiotics in the days before Clinton’s diagnosis. Another top adviser was taken by ambulance to the ER by ambulance after collapsing from what turned out to be severe dehydration, the source said.

The report raises many new questions. For one, it shows that, if People’s source is accurate, the bacteria or virus that caused Clinton’s pneumonia appears to be contagious. That would be a concern because Clinton met and shook hands with young children after her diagnosis. After her fainting spell, Clinton was taken to her daughter Chelsea’s Manhattan condo. Upon leaving, she waved to reporters and onlookers and posed for a picture with a young girl.

The People report, which has not been corroborated by other outlets, also raises questions about whether Clinton campaign officials are claiming others were made ill by the bug in order to downplay the seriousness of the diagnosis.

Late Sunday, Clinton supporters and surrogates drummed up new spin on the incident. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm summed up the sentiment on Twitter.

Clinton’s sickness forced her to cancel a fundraising trip to California and an appearance on “Ellen.”

The Clinton campaign’s response is also being heavily criticized. Obama adviser David Axelrod weighed in on Twitter, claiming that it shows that Clinton has an “unhealthy penchant for privacy.”

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