Old and busted: It’s just allergies! Old and busted II: It’s just a mild version of pneumonia, and no risk at all! New hotness: Hey, everybody gets pneumonia! That might actually have a ring of truth to it, finally. The respiratory illness that Hillary Clinton and her team didn’t acknowledge until the candidate collapsed in public yesterday has infected several of Hillary’s staff, according to People Magazine:
The illness that sickened Hillary Clinton with pneumonia and caused her to have to be escorted away from September 11 ceremonies in New York on Sunday also struck down several members of her campaign team at Clinton headquarters in Brooklyn, PEOPLE has learned.
“Everyone’s been sick,” a campaign source tells PEOPLE.
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.
Well, we think it’s severe hydration. That’s what the campaign claimed happened to Hillary yesterday before having to admit to pneumonia, and we’re still not sure that’s all this is. All we have is the word of the Hillary Clinton campaign staff, who haven’t exactly modeled transparency over the past few weeks.
This calls into question almost everything they have said about Hillary’s health during that period. According to the timeline provided by People’s Sandra Sobieraj Westfall and Stephanie Petit, the pneumonia began sweeping through the Hillary campaign about the same time that people began questioning Hillary’s coughing fits in public appearances. The campaign responded by accusing people of participating in conspiracy theories even while sending some of their own staff to hospitals and clinics for a contagious version of pneumonia.
The campaign announced yesterday that Hillary had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday. Do they expect people to believe that no one on Team Hillary connected her coughing fits to the sudden epidemic of pneumonia on the campaign and didn’t get her checked out immediately? And with this knowledge, why did her team take Hillary to Chelsea’s apartment and her toddler granddaughter rather than to a hospital to manage the acute health crisis of her collapse, where contagion could be contained?
Even NBC News wants an answer to that question, among others:
2.) Has Clinton been otherwise ill in recent days?
Has she had pneumonia in the past? Pneumonia is common, but still a potentially dangerous disease that sends about 1 million people to the hospital every year and kills about 50,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
3.) Who made the call not to go to the hospital and when?
And did Clinton lose consciousness at all? After leaving the memorial, Clinton went to her daughter Chelsea’s apartment and was later examined by her doctor at her own home in Chappaqua, New York. Why was it decided not to visit a hospital immediately?
The obvious answer is that the campaign didn’t want to admit that Hillary was ill at all. The collapse forced their hand, but even in the immediate aftermath of the news reports about her fainting spell, they tried to pass it off as “overheating” … on a 79-degree day. And now she’s canceling events in California today and tomorrow only because the secret’s out.
Team Hillary won’t tell the truth until all of the lies stop working. That, even more than Hillary’s health, is a big lesson for voters in 2016. This parade of obfuscations has begun to resemble Soviet prevarications about the health of Politburo members back in the 1980s.
Addendum: Andrew Malcolm writes in his McClatchy DC column today that it’s high time we start discussing the health and age, not just of the two candidates but also of the remaining Supreme Court justices:
Of all the central national issues our presidential candidates are hotly debating only eight weeks from Election Day – disputed medical conditions, a border wall that won’t be built and who’s a bigot – the most important topic is tagging along as an afterthought.
That is the Supreme Court and the three, maybe four, appointments the next POTUS will make. The average age of Supreme Court retirements the last half-century was a little past 78. Three justices now are older than 77, and one is 83.
Hillary (69) and Donald Trump (70) aren’t that far behind, either.