Hillary Clinton’s health issues may underline a deeper problem for the candidate and her campaign to win the US Presidential Election in November.
After suffering a series of coughing fits over the last few months, most recently at a rally in Ohio last Monday. The Clinton campaign eventually explained that they were caused by ‘seasonal allergies’.
It wasn’t until an onlooker caught her fainting on video after she left a 9/11 memorial service in New York earlier than scheduled on Sunday, that a more serious ailment was revealed.
Hillary Clinton staggered and appeared to faint as she left early from today's 9/11 memorial pic.twitter.com/0ZlbyXNyFy
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) September 11, 2016
The announcement by Clinton’s personal physician, Dr Lisa R. Bardack that she was diagnosed with Pneumonia on Friday, two days before the information was released to the public, raises questions over the campaign’s transparency and trustworthiness when it comes to their nominee.
Tellingly the diagnosis was only revealed after the footage of her fainting emerged.
Before this, her early exit from the memorial ceremony had been explained away as a simple case of ‘overheating’, even though at 26 degrees New York was experiencing a relatively mild summers day.
How long Clinton and her campaign knew about the diagnosis is open for debate, but the fact they withheld the information until the video forced their hand will not help her public perception.
Former Obama strategist, David Axelrod, went so far as to post this damning tweet on the situation yesterday.
Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia. What's the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) September 12, 2016
Strangely absent from the social media lambasting of Clinton has been her opponent Donald Trump, a man known for his propensity to pounce on a rivals weakness via the medium.
Perhaps he has finally learned his lesson (or more likely taken advice) not to kick an opponent when they are down, and let the news cycle focus on the negative story surrounding Clinton, without injecting himself into it.
In the past Trump has certainly not been shy about pointing out Hillary’s ill health, accusing her of not having the stamina for the job and allowing surrogates to raise the issue as often as possible.
These previous attacks mean the timing of the illness couldn’t be worse for Clinton, who has been fighting back against the claims on the campaign trail. Recently, she appeared on a late night talk show opening a jar of pickles to prove how fit she is.
With Trump gaining on her in the polls it is understandable why Clinton might try to hide her illness and project a strong image, but now the truth has come out, this strategy might prove to be more damaging to her campaign than the health issue itself.