Clinton departs 9/11 ceremony after falling ill, campaign confirms she was diagnosed with pneumonia

·Senior National Affairs Reporter
Hillary Clinton leaves ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. (Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters)
Hillary Clinton leaves ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. (Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters)

Hillary Clinton left the Sept. 11 Commemoration Ceremony early on Sunday after falling ill, prompting her campaign to later reveal she was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday.

Clinton abruptly left the ceremony, and a video taken by an onlooker appeared to show her stumbling as she was helped into her van. Campaign spokesman Nick Merrill told reporters she felt “overheated” and had recovered at her daughter Chelsea’s nearby apartment. Later Sunday evening, the campaign released a statement from Clinton’s personal physician Lisa Bardack, who said Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday after the doctor evaluated her cough. “She was put on antibiotics, and advised to rest and modify her schedule,” Bardack said. “While at this morning’s event, she became overheated and dehydrated. I have just examined her and she is now re-hydrated and recovering nicely.”

Clinton cancelled her trip to California for Monday and Tuesday, the campaign announced late Sunday night. She was set to tape an episode of Ellen, fundraise and do a campaign stop there.

Bardack said Clinton’s cough was related to her allergies. The cough disrupted one of her Labor Day events in Cleveland, when she was unable to speak for several minutes, and again later during a question and answer session with the press.

Donald Trump, who is 70, has raised questions about Clinton’s health on the campaign trail, arguing she does not have the “stamina” to be president, and some of his supporters have speculated that she is in poor health. Last month, Clinton, 68, responded to the health rumors by playfully opening up a pickle jar on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Clinton left the lower Manhattan ceremony abruptly around 9:30 a.m. after more than an hour at the site. She greeted family members of those who died in the attacks as well as public officials such as Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Chuck Schumer.

The Democratic presidential candidate’s abrupt departure sparked speculation as the reporters assigned to cover her were not told where she went or why she left for more than an hour. A Fox News reporter cited an anonymous source saying that Clinton had a “medical episode.” A video taken by an attendee shows Clinton appearing to stumble as she is helped into her van to leave the event.

Clinton’s doctor described her as in “excellent” health in her letter last summer. The physician noted that Clinton fainted in 2012 after becoming dehydrated from a stomach bug and suffered a concussion, but later fully recovered.

Clinton was standing near her rival, Trump, for part of the ceremony. Both suspended campaigning — including TV ads — on Sunday. Trump left about an hour after Clinton departed. The temperature in New York was in the low 80s.

According to a pool report, Clinton was in good spirits when she left her daughter’s apartment.

“I’m feeling great — it’s a beautiful day in New York,” Clinton said.


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