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Clinton vs Trump: Who is Healthier?

Snehal Srivastava, Staff Writer

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Whether it be building walls along the border or exposing private emails, this year’s presidential election has not been a stranger to drama and scandal. However, just recently the spotlight has been shifted onto another major topic – the health of the candidates.

  On Sept. 11, 2016, during a commemoration ceremony of the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 in New York City, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was seen being rushed into her van by a group of secret service agents in the middle of the event. The candidate could barely walk, for she was shown staggering into the vehicle, and social media broke into a frenzy of both conspiracy and concern. Ninety minutes later, Clinton was seen outside her daughter’s, Chelsea Clinton, apartment, smiling and waving. Despite the seemingly recovered image of Clinton, skeptics were stirring.

  At first, Clinton’s campaign stated that the candidate was having allergic reactions due to the season. However, on Sept. 14, 2016, three days after the incident, Clinton’s doctor, Lisa Bardack, released a statement. She revealed that Clinton had overheated and become dehydrated during the ceremony, causing her to feel dizzy. Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia a few days before. However, Bardack also included that Clinton was “recovering well,” and that she was still “fit to serve as President of the United States.”

  So, what is the truth? To find out, backtrack to July 28, 2015, when Bardack revealed Clinton had hypothyroidism and seasonal pollen allergies in a report. The report summarized Clinton’s medications, family history, and her most recent medical checkup. Again, Bardack said that Clinton was in “excellent physical condition,” and that she would be in good health for her campaign.

  So, was the scare an episode of pneumonia paired with dehydration and overheating, or was it something more? Twitter seemed to agree with the latter, and conspiracy theories of body doubles flooded the Internet. Many claimed that the Clinton they saw smiling and waving after the episode was not the same Clinton that was helped into the van. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump didn’t miss the opportunity to jab at Clinton as well. “I don’t know, folks. You think Hillary would be able to stand up here for an hour?” said Trump during a rally in Canton, Ohio.

  Trump has never been one to shy away from self-praise, and even took this opportunity to boast about his own health. On Sept. 13, 2016, he a released letter from his doctor, Harold N. Bornstein, summarizing his current health issues, test results, and past problems. The letter reveals that Trump has only been hospitalized once in his life when he was 11 years old for an appendectomy. The report concludes with a final sentence proclaiming that Trump was in excellent physical health – just as Clinton’s letter in 2015 stated.

  To put things in perspective, conducting a presidential campaign is not an easy job. Gary Nordlinger, the President of Nordlinger Associates, a political and public consulting affairs group, says that the campaign schedule is non-stop. “The campaign typically starts two years in advance by making campaign appearances with other candidates running that year and appearing at state party fundraisers.  By the ‘odd numbered’ year, the campaign is running at full speed and debates have started. The it is on the caucuses and primaries in January of the election year,” said Nordlinger. However, Nordlinger also added that a candidate’s health is not a big issue in the way the public will vote, but does affect the amount of trust a candidate garners. The fact remains that Clinton’s attempt to hide her pneumonia with allergies only damages the already mistrustful image that many have of her.

  So, who is healthier – Clinton or Trump? The truth may not ever be known, but one can assume that health of both candidates will become more scrutinized as the election comes closer. Social media makes it impossible to keep issues like these hidden, and with the amount of detective work that’s done on these platforms, there’s nowhere to run or hide. No matter what, one can only hope that neither of the candidates run into major health issues in the future.

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Clinton vs Trump: Who is Healthier?