Washington, United States | AFP |
Hillary Clinton’s doctor Wednesday declared her “fit to serve” as president, in a health bulletin released a day before she returns to the fray after being grounded by pneumonia at the height of the White House race.
The disclosure came as her Republican rival Donald Trump — in a media-savvy move — released new health data of his own during the taping of a medical chat show set to air Thursday.
Both candidates, among the oldest ever to run for the White House, were under intense pressure to share more medical information after Clinton fell ill during a 9/11 ceremony in New York on Sunday and was forced to leave.
Health issues have dominated the campaign trail for days, sidelining other questions like funding for Trump’s foundation — now the subject of a probe in New York state — with less than two weeks to go before the candidates’ first debate.
In a detailed, two-page “summary update” on Clinton’s health, her personal physician Lisa Bardack wrote that the 68-year-old was recuperating from a diagnosis of “mild, non-contagious” pneumonia.
She “is recovering well with antibiotics and rest” after being laid low over the weekend, when she suffered from fatigue and a low-grade fever, although her vital signs remained normal, Bardack said.
The Democratic White House nominee “continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as president of the United States,” she wrote, noting she is in “excellent mental condition.”
When Clinton was seen stumbling limp-legged into a Secret Service vehicle at the weekend, it took several hours for her personal physician to disclose she had been diagnosed with pneumonia two days earlier, raising tough questions about her campaign’s transparency.
Clinton was at home in Chappaqua, New York for a third straight day Wednesday, recovering from a health scare that has rocked her bid to become America’s first woman president.
News of Trump’s media-savvy appearance on “The Dr. Oz Show” — though it appeared to reveal little detail — flooded the US airwaves on Wednesday, upping the pressure on Clinton to share more health data before returning to the trail Thursday with appearances in North Carolina and Washington.
‘I have it right here’
So far the 70-year-old Trump had released only four, gushing paragraphs on his health, written by his doctor Harold Bornstein in December 2015.
Following the revelation of Clinton’s pneumonia, Trump vowed soon to release “very, very specific numbers” from a recent check-up with Bornstein.
Team Trump had raised — then dropped — the possibility of releasing them during an appearance on “Dr. Oz”.
But during recording of the segment Wednesday morning, Trump finally did present its celebrity host with the results, according to a statement on the show’s website.
In a snippet teased on the site, Mehmet Oz — who is also a professor of surgery at Columbia University in New York — is seen asking Trump:
“If your health is as strong as it seems… why not show your medical records?
“Well, I have really no problem in doing it,” Trump responds. “I have it right here. Should I do it? I don’t care.”
The Republican nominee goes on to pull the documents from his pocket, to cheers and applause from the show audience.
A statement from the medical chat show said their hour-long one-one-one interview touched on Trump’s cardiovascular health, family medical history and history of cancer, among other topics.
“As all physicians do when seeing a patient for the first time, Dr. Oz took Mr. Trump through a full review of systems,” it said.
But the actual details revealed appeared to remain very generic.
According to US media who attended the taping, Oz declared Mr. Trump “slightly overweight” at 267 pounds (120 kilos) for roughly six foot two inches (1.88 meters).
Audience member Kelly Platt — a pharmacist intern and Trump supporter — told CNN that Oz deemed Trump’s cholesterol to have come down to a safe level, thanks to medication.
“Other than apparently his body mass index being a little high, the man is in incredibly good shape. Dr. Oz was very, very impressed,” NBC quoted an audience member, Matthew Stevens, as saying.