It all started back in 2012. Hillary Clinton missed a Congressional hearing on the Benghazi ordeal as a result of a concussion that left her hospitalized for three days. What happened? She fainted from dehydration and hit her head. She then suffered a minor blood clot behind her ear in consequence, which was immediately treated with blood thinner and resolved. This should have been a minor incident, but, given the hyper-polarized, nonsense-spewing political brands we have come to accept in the U.S., this blew way out of proportion and gave way to a movement of “healthers” – a coalition similar to the “birthers” who claimed that Obama was unfit to be president because he was not a citizen. While they do not question Hillary’s Illinois birth, they question her health status and whether she might be too weak or sick to be president this Fall.
Since that first incident four years ago, countless conservative voices, such as Republican strategist Karl Rove, alt-Right outlet Breitbart (the head of which is now running Trump’s campaign), and Fox News’ Sean Hannity, have tossed a hateful, spineless fuel onto the fire, alleging that insignificant incidents involving the former Secretary of State are actually indicative of major health threats. CNN ran a story this morning, titled “The new birthers: Debunking the Hillary Clinton health conspiracy,” in which they evaluate the claims made against Hillary’s bill of health. They explain that fact-checking sites have over and over again debunked assertions that Hillary is suffering from brain injuries or major health dilemmas. “Clinton's physician - the only person to speak on the record who has actually examined her - has repeatedly affirmed the former secretary of state's health and fitness for the highest office in the land.” In case anyone was curious, Hillary’s personal physician is far more qualified to diagnose a health risk than a Republican strategist and half-wit talk show host.
To give context for just how ridiculous some of the claims are, even Newt Gingrich, who was in the running to be Trump’s VP pick, has had enough. "With all due respect to television doctors, when you have a doctor who has never seen the patient begin to give you a complicated, fancy-sounding analysis based on what?" he said last week.
However, despite Hillary’s physician’s ‘all-clear’ and Gingrich’s frustration with the fear-mongering claims, even Trump is playing into the “healthers” movement. Per CNN, “Trump himself has begun to allude more and more baldly to these suggestions, most notably in a pair of speeches last week when he questioned Clinton's "mental and physical" stamina. On Friday, he tweeted, "#WheresHillary? Sleeping!!!!!"”
Hillary has now responded to these wild claims, speaking with Jimmy Kimmel last night about the matter. "Back in October, the National Enquirer said I would be dead in six months. So with every breath I take I feel like I have a new lease on life," Clinton laughed. "I don't know why they are saying this. I think on the one hand, it is part of the wacky strategy, just say all these crazy things and maybe you can get some people to believe you."
Clinton furthered with frustration over the fact that she wants to address significant policy issues and is forced to deal with the nonsense chucked at her from the far Right. "I am out here talking about [issues] and then I have to step into the alternative reality and answer questions about am I alive, how much longer I will be alive and the like," Clinton said.
Inevitably, some conservative pundits will scoff at Hillary for dismissing the health claims, as they did when she joked about her email scandal. However, while the email scandal was – well, is, actually – a real problem, these health claims are propped up and perpetuated by extreme voices on the far Right wing of the Republican party.
What do you think about Hillary’s dismissal of “healthers’” claims?