Clinton campaign releases medical information in wake of pneumonia diagnosis
Hillary Clinton’s campaign released additional medical information Wednesday after questions about her health intensified in the wake of her pneumonia diagnosis late last week.
She was diagnosed with mild, non-contagious bacterial pneumonia, her doctor said, a step the campaign took after the candidate had to take three days off the campaign trail after nearly collapsing at an event on Sunday.
Dr. Lisa Bardack, Clinton’s personal doctor and the chair of Internal Medicine at CareMount Medical in Mount Kisco, New York, said she evaluated Clinton “at least” four times this month — including Wednesday — and found that the Democratic nominee had a small right middle-lobe pneumonia.
According to Bardack, “The remainder of her complete physical exam was normal and she is in excellent mental condition.”
Bardack added that Clinton “is recovering well with antibiotics,” including Levaquin, which she was told to take for 10 days.
“My overall impression is that Mrs. Clinton has remained healthy and has not developed new medical conditions this year other than a sinus and ear infection and her recently diagnosed pneumonia,” Bardack wrote in a letter released to the media. “She is recovering well with antibiotics and rest. She continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as president of the United States.”
Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said Wednesday’s disclosures were “pretty similar” to information released by her campaign last year. He noted that Clinton’s triglycerides jumped from 69 last year to 159, but he speculated that that could be ascribed to whether she ate before blood tests.
Triglycerides are a type of fat of found in blood, and as triglyceride levels increase, so does heart disease risk. Even though Clinton’s triglycerides count jumped from 69 to 159, that’s only borderline high. “Normal” levels, according to Harvard Medical School, are less than 150.
“This is certainly not a release of medical records by any means. This is very similar, in some ways, to what we got in July of last year,” Gupta said.
Questions about Clinton’s health
Clinton left a 9/11 memorial ceremony early on Sunday and video caught her nearly collapsing and having to be helped into her van as she left. After Clinton stopped by her daughter’s apartment — and told the media that she was feeling better — Bardack evaluated Clinton at her home in Chappaqua, New York, and the campaign later told the media that Clinton had pneumonia.
As a result, Clinton canceled three days of events in California and Nevada and is set to return to the campaign trail on Thursday in North Carolina.
Questions about transparency and the medical health of both Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump have dominated the political world for days, in part because Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday but withheld the information from the media and even some of her top aides.
Trump surprised people on Wednesday when he discussed some medical information on “The Dr. Oz Show,” including the results of a recent physical exam.
Jesse Lehrich, a foreign policy spokesman for Clinton, swiped at Trump Wednesday over his call last month for the candidates to release more medical information.
“OK, your turn,” Lehrich tweeted, linking to a page on Clinton’s campaign website that displayed letters from Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine’s doctors.
Clinton’s doctor gives her clean bill of health
After Clinton’s doctor released a letter about the former secretary of state’s health in 2015, Clinton’s campaign did not intend to release more information about their candidate. That changed Sunday.
Bardack wrote last year that while Clinton suffered a scare in 2012 following a concussion, she was now in good health.
“Mrs. Clinton is a healthy 67-year-old female whose current medical conditions include hypothyroidism and seasonal pollen allergies,” Bardack wrote.
The 2015 health statement says the blood clot, also known as a thrombosis, that Clinton suffered between her brain and skull following a fainting spell and concussion in late 2012 is completely resolved.
Clinton, according to the letter released Wednesday, takes the blood thinner Coumadin and thyroid medication.
Bardack also wrote on Wednesday that Clinton is “up to date” on her vaccinations and has normal mammogram and breast ultrasound.
Clinton’s blood pressure of 100/70 and she has a heart rate of 70, according to Bardack. Her lab testing, the doctor added, was “normal.”
Nagged by cough
While on the campaign trail, though, Clinton has dealt with a nagging cough. She suffered a two-minute coughing fit during an event in Cleveland last week, which she blamed on allergies — and wryly put it on the shoulders of Trump.
“Every time I think about Trump I get allergic,” she joked in front of the crowd.
The coughing also cut short an in-flight gaggle earlier this month, and Bardack wrote on Wednesday that Clinton takes allergy medicine to combat the issue.
Clinton’s health has also been subject to speculation from Trump and his top surrogates and supporters. The claims routinely cite selectively edited videos of public events to advance claims she’s suffered seizures and is in poor health.
There is no credible evidence to support any of these claims.
Clinton has sought to dismiss the suggestions. During an appearance last month on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Clinton called the GOP claims about her health a “wacky strategy” and opened a jar of pickles to show her strength.
“I don’t know why they are saying this,” she said. “I think on the one hand, it is part of the wacky strategy, just say all these crazy things and maybe you can get some people to believe you.”