Hillary Clinton’s abrupt departure Sunday from a 9/11 ceremony in New York City due to what one source described as a “medical episode” could revive calls for the Democratic presidential nominee to release detailed health records.
The candidate, after resting at her daughter Chelsea’s apartment, told reporters late Sunday morning she was “feeling great.” Her campaign said that she left the 9/11 commemoration ceremony after 90 minutes due to feeling “overheated.”
According to the campaign, she is “feeling much better.”
"She is fine," a senior campaign aide said.
But the campaign for weeks has been dealing with – and working to quell – speculation about the candidate’s health, including a 2012 concussion, and Sunday’s incident is sure to fuel that fire. One video appeared to show the candidate stumbling as she was helped into a van. A law enforcement source who witnessed the episode said she appeared to faint.
The campaign last year already released a summary of Clinton’s medical records and conditions.
In the July 28, 2015, letter, Dr. Lisa Bardack, an internist in Mount Kisco, N.Y., described Clinton as “a healthy 67-year-old female whose current medical conditions include hypothyroidism and seasonal pollen allergies.” The letter noted her elbow fracture in 2009 and concussion in 2012. Bardack detailed how Clinton, now 68, had to undergo “anticoagulation therapy” to dissolve a clot, and experienced “double vision for a period of time,” after the concussion.
Bardack concluded that Clinton was in “excellent physical condition and fit to serve.”
But the summary has not satisfied some skeptics, who have pointed not only to the concussion but her occasional coughing bouts on the campaign trail.
The letter falls short of steps taken by 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who invited reporters to review the full 1,173 pages of his medical records.
Republican nominee Donald Trump, who has made glancing references to his opponent’s health and “stamina,” on Aug. 28 tweeted that both candidates “should release detailed medical records.”
Clinton’s chief strategist Joel Benenson recently said the campaign has no plans to release more detailed records.
A campaign spokeswoman also blamed the health controversy on Roger Stone, a longtime conservative political operative who had a formal role as a Trump adviser until he left a year ago.
“Donald Trump is simply parroting lies based on fabricated documents promoted by Roger Stone and his right-wing allies," said campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri. "Hillary Clinton has released a detailed medical record showing her to be in excellent health plus her personal tax returns since 1977, while Trump has failed to provide the public with the most basic financial information disclosed by every major candidate in the last 40 years.”
“I think the questions being raised are legitimate given that it impacts who leads our nation," Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, said last month. "As a physician, you cannot help but to ask questions. But given that our information is limited, it would be wrong for any physician to diagnose someone without seeing them themselves.”
Orient said she has received both positive and negative responses to her column on the Association’s blog which asked whether Clinton is “medically unfit” to serve as president.