Clinton, Trump move to show medical fitness for White House
By Amanda Becker
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (Reuters) – U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Wednesday moved to show their medical fitness for the White House as Clinton released a letter from her doctor declaring her fit for the presidency and Trump taped a TV-segment about his well-being.
Clinton, 68, is healthy and fit to serve as president and is currently recovering from non-contagious, bacterial pneumonia, her physician, Dr. Lisa Bardack, said in a letter about the Democratic nominee’s medical condition released by the campaign.
Trump, 70, knows he could stand to lose a few pounds but otherwise is in great health, campaign adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders told MSNBC on Wednesday after the Republican nominee taped an episode of the “Dr. Oz Show” in New York that will air on Thursday.
Bardack, in her letter about Clinton, wrote: “She is recovering well with antibiotics and rest. She continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as President of the United States.”
The announcements came as Clinton spent a third day resting at her home in Chappaqua, New York, after falling ill on Sunday morning as she left a Sept. 11 memorial in New York City. Video footage taken by a bystander showed Clinton becoming dizzy as she attempted to get into a waiting vehicle. Her campaign said later in the day that the former secretary of state had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday.
Though senior aides knew about Clinton’s diagnosis, the delay in public disclosure fueled criticism that she is prone to secrecy and fed unsubstantiated internet rumors that she is hiding a health issue.
Bardack said Clinton’s pneumonia was diagnosed after a chest scan on Friday and that she was prescribed a 10-day course of antibiotics.
Bacterial pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics while viral pneumonia necessitates a different approach, according to Dr. Steve Simpson, acting director of the Division of Pulmonary Disease at the University of Kansas Hospital. Simpson has not evaluated or treated Clinton.
Since bacterial pneumonia is not contagious, Clinton was at no risk of transmitting the infection at campaign and fundraising events before or after she was diagnosed. She is scheduled to return to the campaign trail on Thursday.
Bardack said Clinton’s cholesterol and blood pressure are within normal ranges. She had a normal mammogram and breast ultrasound and shows no signs of developing heart disease, which runs in her family. Clinton takes medication for an under active thyroid, which has been stable for years, Clarinex for her allergies, a vitamin B12 supplement and the blood thinner Coumadin following a 2012 blood clot in her head.
In December 2012, as Clinton was near the end of her term as secretary of state, she fell at home and suffered a concussion, developing a blood clot shortly thereafter.
Since then, Clinton’s dosage of Coumadin has “been adjusted as needed according to regular lab testing,” Bardack said. After consultation with a specialist, a decision was made to not switch Clinton to a newer anticoagulation drug.
Bardack had released a two-page assessment of Clinton’s health in July 2015. Trump’s campaign released a brief letter from his personal physician in December 2015 that said he was in “astonishingly excellent” health but did not provide detail about treatment or medications.
Neither candidate has released the type of detailed or voluminous medical records provided by past presidential candidates such as U.S. Senator John McCain, who in 2008 allowed reporters to review 1,173 pages of medical records after concerns were raised about a cancer scare.
Trump’s campaign has said he will release additional medical information to the public in the coming days.
The “Dr. Oz Show” on Wednesday released a short clip of its Thursday segment with Trump. In it, Trump gives Dr. Mehmet Oz two letters showing the results of medical tests conducted last week. Huckabee Sanders said she did not see the summary Trump showed Oz, but “he self-admitted he could lose a few pounds.”
Trump weighs 267 pounds, according to media reports. That weight would mean Trump, like many Americans but few U.S. presidents, is considered medically obese, according to body mass index standards.
Clinton’s running-mate, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, 58, also released a physician letter on Wednesday. Dr. Brian Monahan, who oversees the Office of the Attending Physician in the U.S. Congress, said Kaine, as of his last physical last February, was in “overall excellent health.” Monahan said Kaine was on no medications but recommended a vitamin D supplement.
(Reporting by Amanda Becker in New York; additional reporting by Emily Stephenson and Alana Wise in Washington; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Leslie Adler)