Kyle Wingfield

Political commentary and opinion from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's conservative blogger

The Hillary Clinton illness that apparently can't be cured

People get sick. People get too hot while being in the outdoors during the summer. Sometimes people feel unwell but think it's nothing serious, only to find out later it was worse than they thought.

What do people usually not do? Get diagnosed with a real, possibly communicable illness; defy doctors' orders to slow down and instead spend time among large crowds; feel ill, and then have other people tell a lie about what was going on.

In case you thought Hillary Clinton was ever capable of simply telling the truth: Apparently, she isn't.

There have been occasional reports from the campaign trail about Clinton's health: most recently, about a coughing fit she tried to fight off during a speech in Cleveland last Monday. Aides attributed that incident -- which was reported by more than the alt-right websites of the world -- to allergies. And maybe, at that point, that's what the Clinton team really thought was to blame.

But by Friday, we now know, her personal physician had diagnosed her with pneumonia and prescribed antibiotics and rest. That was before Sunday, when she felt ill at an event commemorating the 9/11 attacks and had to be helped to a van while leaving early. And yet, when asked about her departure, campaign aides Sunday chalked up her condition to being "overheated." Not, you know, to having pneumonia.

What Clinton is truly allergic to, it seems, are transparency and honesty. Or as one prominent Democrat put it:

Candidates' bodies can certainly break down over the course of long, grueling campaigns. There's no shame in taking time off to recuperate, even if it means missing a high-profile event.

But it absolutely is shameful that the Clinton team's default settings are: deny, obfuscate, mislead. Although voters have every right to know about the health of their presidential candidates -- and some of the same people shamelessly spinning for Clinton today were criticizing Donald Trump not very long ago for not being sufficiently forthcoming about his own health -- it's unlikely they would vote against Clinton because she got sick for a few days in September.

But they might hold it against her that, once again, Clinton and her team tried to lie their way through a situation rather than admitting to any kind of mistake or weakness.

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About the Author

Kyle Wingfield joined the AJC in 2009. He is a native of Dalton and a graduate of the University of Georgia.