Supporters Rally to Clinton with Stories of Faring Worse During Their Own Health Battles – But Skeptics Are Skeptical

Donald Trump sent Hillary Clinton a "get well" message of sorts after she was diagnosed with pneumonia

Photo: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

After Hillary Clinton‘s pneumonia diagnosis was belatedly disclosed on Sunday, supporters are rallying around the Democratic nominee and saying her commitment to campaigning through the illness proves she’s “tough as hell.” Clinton’s critics, on the other hand, remain skeptical as ever, with GOP nominee Donald Trump seemingly suggesting his opponent’s health issues go beyond pneumonia.

Peter Daou, who worked for Clinton, 68, in the past, told the Associated Press that her jam-packed weekend after being diagnosed with pneumonia was “an impressive feat of physical strength that undermined weeks of health conspiracies.”

“After being diagnosed with pneumonia, Hillary Clinton ran a two-hour national security meeting, gave a press conference, and spent an hour and a half in the heat at a September 11 event,” he said.

The Huffington Post also praised Clinton for powering through, while criticizing the media for making too much of her medical episode. “A 68-year-old woman with pneumonia still kept a schedule that most of us wouldn’t make it through,” writes The Huffington Post’s Eric Schmeltzer. “That’s not weak. That’s actually strong and tough as hell.”

Others defended Clinton on social media. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm tweeted:

Mo Elleithee, the executive director of the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service, wrote on Facebook:

Comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted:

In a follow-up tweet, he appeared to suggest that Trump’s mental health was more troubling than Clinton’s physical health:

Meanwhile, Trump himself had an unusually understated response to Clinton’s pneumonia, after weeks of alleging that she doesn’t have the “stamina” to serve as commander in chief.

In an appearance on Fox News Monday Trump wished for Clinton’s speedy recovery ahead of the first presidential debate on Sept. 26. “I just hope she gets well and gets back on the trail and we’ll be seeing her at the debate,” he said.

Trump did, however, raise questions about Clinton’s overall health and her campaign’s transparency about her medical issues. He added: “They say pneumonia – on Friday but she was coughing very, very badly, a week ago and even before that if you remember. It’s very interesting to see what’s going on.”

Trump, 70, also called Clinton’s health “an issue” in the campaign and told Fox & Friends on Monday that he had a physical last week, and is planning to release the results soon.

Trump isn’t the only one who sees Clinton’s health as a political problem.

Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post declared in response to Clinton falling ill at a 9/11 memorial service on Sunday: “Hillary Clinton’s health just became a real issue in the presidential campaign.”

Veteran NBC news correspondent Tom Brokaw said Clinton “should go to a hospital, see a neurologist and get a clean report if it is available.”

Clinton’s physician, Dr. Lisa R. Bardack, M.D., released a statement on Sunday revealing that Clinton had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday. “She was put on antibiotics, and advised to rest and modify her schedule,” the statement 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.”

But many felt the statement was too little, too late and argued that the whole incident highlights the Clinton campaign’s “transparency problems.”

After the statement was released, Adam Nagourney of The New York Times tweeted:

In an article titled “Hillary Clinton’s stumble highlights campaign transparency problems,” CNNMoney’s‘s Dylan Byers criticized Clinton (and Trump) for not allowing for a “protective pool,” which he described as “a rotating group of reporters that travel with a candidate in order to provide a minute-to-minute account of their activities.”

“Sunday’s events at the Sept. 11 memorial show the importance of having a group of reporters on standby, and close at hand, to cover the potential next president of the United States,” Anne Gearan, the Washington Post political reporter and current chair of the Clinton press pool, told CNNMoney.

“It also shows what happens when the Clinton campaign fails to treat those reporters as a true protective pool, which would travel in the same Secret Service protected-motorcade to every place the candidate goes,” Gearan said. “The pool was left behind when she abruptly left the memorial, and was not kept apprised of what was happening in real time.”

And The Independent wrote that Clinton “must reassure an uncertain nation that she is in good medical shape after 9/11 memorial scare.”

Comedian Andy Borowitz, a columnist for The New Yorker, spoofed the much-ado, writing: “A new poll released on Sunday reveals that likely voters find an unconscious Hillary Clinton ‘substantially more fit’ to be President than a conscious Donald Trump.”

Borowitz even helpfully concocted some spin for the Clinton campaign, quoting a made-up spokesperson as saying, “We have every reason to believe that Hillary Clinton will be a fully conscious President. But even if she is not, she is still the far better choice.”

Related Articles