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How is Hillary’s Health? Separating Fact From Fiction

Should we question Clinton's health? (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Hillary Clinton's health has taken over the headlines.

While at the banner September 11th memorial ceremony at the World Trade Center site this Sunday morning, the Democratic candidate left early because they weren't feeling well. First off, Clinton was experiencing a "medical episode." It completely unraveled from there.

What happened?

Video and photo footage of her being escorted into a security van raised alarms.

It was first linked to overheating, having worn a suit (and possibly a bulletproof vest) to the memorial service on a hot and humid September morning this Sunday.

And then the incident was finally linked to an earlier pneumonia diagnosis, her doctor said. Clinton was actually sick since Friday. You know all that coughing lately?

That was because she had pneumonia. Her doctor gave her medicine and advised her to rest--maybe modify her grueling campaign schedule. Clinton went on with her weekend obligations before falling faint.

And with that, conspiracy theories have come out like wildfire.

Speculation over her health has been shut down.

This weekend

Every campaign has a press pool of news organizations assigning (or swapping in and out) reporters to follow the candidate, for rally stops, fundraising, and any spontaneous statements. (Trump does not have one.)

It is expected that the press pool be with the candidate at all times.

On Sunday, the press pool did not know Clinton's status or whereabouts for over an hour. The campaign pool--and American news followers--reporters were kept in the dark.

In the past

Some believe the Clinton team has stifled any kind of disparaging comments on her health.

Take the cancellation of Dr. Drew Pinsky's "Dr. Drew on Call" show: In an interview, he shared how he was concerned about Clinton's health and her care. His show was cancelled shortly after the controversial interview. People linked the two incidents.

Take the alleged shut-down of a reporter's posts: David Seaman claims to have published a few pieces on Clinton's health on the Huffington Post, and they were taken down. He also said his access to publishing with the website was terminated. He was immediately perplexed and shared his thoughts in a video.

And take Twitter trends: Some say Twitter trends, like #ClintonColapse, around this Sunday's health episode didn't trend on the social network and were pushed down to not be on the Trending Topics list.

Fact from fiction

The television channel that canceled Dr. Drew's show didn't share reasoning for his show's cancellation. Other reporting said it was due to a channel programming shakeup. We can't entirely base it off of his comments on Clinton's health.

The Huffington Post can terminate any writer or stories on their contributing platform. We cannot link his claimed posts on Clinton's health to the loss of his publishing rights on the website. It could be a coincidence or it could be something more.


And Twitter's Trending Topics list is based on how many people, plus how many unique populations (multiple communities tweeting same hashtag, instead of the same people tweeting it over and over again), are tweeting that very hashtag.

#HillarysHealth did trend in the United States though.

There's something more to her health claims.

This weekend

What are we to believe?

It was a confusing time when all communications went dark from the Clinton campaign and she was nowhere to be found. Then, when information finally was shared from the campaign, it was not yet the full story.

So, should trust be in what we hear right away?

In the past

Clinton has had several health incidents throughout her public service.

She fractured her elbow in a fall in 2009. She fell boarding a plane in 2011.

The most notable health incident was in 2012, when Clinton seriously fell because of dehydration from a stomach virus.

The fall caused a concussion. It was later found that she had a blood clot in her skull, located on a vital vein draining blood from the brain, which required surgery.

People think there is much more...

Some think she had a seizure at the Democratic convention --

And while talking to media --

Hillary Clinton has seizure when talking to reporters

Or, if these clips aren't evidence of seizures, some think they're signs of Parkinson's disease. There was a physician who said Clinton had the advanced version of the disease and linked quirks in public appearances to symptoms.

It doesn't stop there...

People believe photos of Clinton having trouble up the stairs is a sign of bad health.

Some think there is a secret "handler" who also doubles as an undercover doctor.

A guard often seen with Clinton on the campaign trail has been spotted as a possible agent who works as a doctor. Others thought he was holding a Diazepam pen because she has multi-seizure disorder.

Fact from fiction

There is no proof Clinton had a seizure on camera. Plus, the alleged physician report appears to be false and purely a political stunt. (It's not even from her doctor.)

There is no proof having trouble to climb the stairs is indicative of health issues. She is 68 years old and there are other photos of her walking up and down stairs unassisted and just fine.

There is no secret handler who carries with a Diazepam pen. They aren't officially Secret Service but they are security for special events and high-profile people. And they were carrying a flashlight.

Clinton has released medical records that don't show anything about her having seizures or Parkinson's. She does have hypothyroidism and an allergy to pollen.

Aside from that, she's a human being who just falls and gets sick sometimes.

What now?

It's just really bad politically for Clinton with less than two months to election day.

Clinton cancelled her trip to California for fundraising earlier this week. Instead, she rested and teleconferenced into her fundraisers.

There will be new calls for *full* medical records from both candidates, who are 68 and 70 years old.

Meanwhile, Trump talked to Dr. Oz about his health.

Still, we know more about Clinton's health than we know about Trump's health. So far.

Stay tuned, this has taken the campaign season for a turn.

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How is Hillary’s Health? Separating Fact From Fiction

Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a freelance international news reporter, having contributed to The Atlantic online and Mic. He's worked at CNNMoney, the New York Daily News, and Voice of America. Patrick loves tweeting, reading, and grabbing coffee in either New York or Washington D.C. Tweet anything on politics or world conflict to him! Follow: @patrickdehahn.

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