Just over an hour after her arrival at the 9/11 memorial on its 15th anniversary, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made a sudden and unexpected departure that revived questions conservatives have brought up about her health. A witness reports her knees buckled and she lost a shoe as she was helped into a van around 9:30 a.m., and senior law enforcement officials said she may have fainted. A widely circulated video taken by a witness at the event shows her struggling to get into her waiting van; one official told The Daily Beast, “They threw her in like she was a side of beef.”
Her campaign is working to alleviate any new concerns about her health, stating, “Secretary Clinton attended the September 11th Commemoration Ceremony for just an hour and thirty minutes this morning to pay her respects and greet some of the families of the fallen. During the ceremony, she felt overheated so departed to go to her daughter’s apartment, and is feeling much better.” Clinton was later seen leaving her daughter Chelsea’s apartment, walking on her own and telling reporters she was feeling fine. “It’s a beautiful day in New York,” she told the crowd.
When asked by a reporter about Clinton’s departure, Republican nominee Donald Trump—who has continually called Clinton’s health into question—simply responded, “I don’t know anything about that.”
It’s unclear what medical attention, if any, the secretary received. Dr. Raymond Pollack, who says he is politically independent (and did disclose himself as the father of Breitbart editor Joel B. Pollack), said that the work-up for any 68-year-old individual who’d exhibited the same symptoms would have consisted of “a thorough physical/neurological/cardiology evaluation” to look for causes such as accident/trauma, epilepsy/seizure, intoxication and others.
Those standing near Clinton during the ceremony say she didn’t appear particularly ill. Manhattan Bourough president Gale Brewer told the New York Daily News that she looked fine. “She was greeting an unbelievable number of people. People were coming up to her endlessly for hellos and such,” Brewer said. “She seemed absolutely fine.”
Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) echoed similar sentiments. “I’m not shocked to hear she got a little light-headed because of the stifling heat,” he said, noting that he and those around him were sweating heavily. “I needed a gallon of water myself.”
The timing of Clinton’s medical incident isn’t helping the Democratic nominee’s campaign. Cartoonist Scott Adams, who officially endorsed Clinton in June 2016, fears “the race for President is (probably) over,” as he writes in his blog. It doesn’t matter, he says, whether people buy her campaign’s explanation of “overheating” or not—the result is the same, he says.
“If humans were rational creatures, the time and place of Clinton’s ‘overheating’ wouldn’t matter at all. But when it comes to American psychology, there is no more powerful symbol of terrorism and fear than 9-11. When a would-be Commander-in-Chief withers—literally—in front of our most emotional reminder of an attack on the homeland, we feel unsafe. And safety is our first priority,” he writes. “Hillary Clinton just became unelectable.”