Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fainted and nearly collapsed at a 9/11 memorial event one year ago today, igniting concerns that the then-68-year-old politician was too ill for the top office in the country.
The presidential candidate was diagnosed with pneumonia, a fact that campaign staffers tried to keep hidden. As she was leaving the ceremony, she slumped and fainted. Members of her security staff had to prop her up and escort her into her vehicle.
Hillary Clinton 9/11 NYC pic.twitter.com/q9YnsjTxss
— Zdenek Gazda (@zgazda66) September 11, 2016
President Donald Trump argued that Clinton likely had another condition that was being kept under wraps during a Fox News interview later that day. “I really just don’t know. I hope she gets well soon,” Trump said during the interview. “They say pneumonia on Friday, but she was coughing very, very badly a week ago, and even before that if you remember.”
The president also imitated Clinton’s fainting spell during a campaign rally on Oct. 2, 2016.
Clinton staffer Brian Fallon quickly dispatched notions that Clinton was suffering from a more serious condition. “The reality is, the pneumonia is the extent of what she has been diagnosed with. There are no other undisclosed conditions,” Fallon said during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “We continue to want to be as transparent as possible on this, but at some point, people have to ask the same questions of Donald Trump.”
Left-leaning news organizations immediately slammed anyone who asked if the Democratic presidential nominee was sick, with some asserting the very question is proof that the nation is biased against women in general and Hillary Clinton in particular.
“The not-so-subtle point is that Clinton is an old woman, way past her prime and usefulness. Rather than trying to be president, she should be content sitting at home, spending her twilight years enjoying her grandchildren,” Chicago Times reporter Dahleen Glanton wrote in response that a woman who is sick should not run for president.
“When Hillary Clinton stumbled on Sunday, she let her guard down and showed her weakness, her vulnerability. In that moment, it was easy to forget what an accomplished statesman she is, that she served in the U.S. Senate and held one of the most important jobs in our democracy,” Glanton reported.
She was hardly the only voice of dissent. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm wrote to members of the press after the incident.
To press lamenting @HillaryClinton‘s health/transparency: “powering through” illness is what women do: Stoically, every. single. day.
— Jennifer Granholm (@JenGranholm) September 12, 2016
Actor Kumail Nanjiani weighed in with a sarcastic comment.
All we learned today is that Hillary Clinton is not like Bruce Willis in Unbreakable, which I had already assumed.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) September 12, 2016
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