Clinton’s Pneumonia: A Post-Speech Scare, a Body Double, and a Tame Trump

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The facts are thin, and the story even thinner: Hillary Clinton has pneumonia. That’s pretty much it. But of course, that raises some very intriguing questions–especially if you’re a conspiracy theorist: Has she been harboring the disease, shielding her failing health from the media since she was Secretary of State? Did she contract it while delivering a contracted speech to Goldman Sachs? And given the very fact that Clinton has spent her entire career tag teaming with a body double–in speeches, in meetings with now-deposed Middle East dictators, at a dinner date with Bill–has she already moved on from not only this election season, but this life? Here’s what we actually know:

Friday Diagnosis

Following a week of coughing fits and mockery from her political opponents, the Democratic presidential nominee was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday. That fact became evident on Sunday, while she spoke at a memorial event at Ground Zero in Manhattan. While getting into a Secret Service van after the ceremony, Clinton appeared unstable and required assistance from a few agents who held her upright as she climbed into the van.

According to her longtime doctor, Lisa Bardack, Clinton is “re-hydrated and recovering nicely,” in her upstate New York home. Clinton’s campaign announced that the candidate will be teleconferencing into her San Francisco fundraising events on Monday and Tuesday.

An Uncharacteristic (Yet Also Characteristic) Trump

Seemingly shocking everyone who expects Donald Trump to say something earth-shattering on a daily basis, “I just hope she gets well and gets back on the trail and we’ll be seeing her at the debate,” was Trump’s diplomatic response to his opponent’s diagnosis.

And while his well wishes were a bit of a surprise, Trump left room for some of his more conspiracy-minded supporters to question the pneumonia diagnosis. “You know, it was interesting because they say pneumonia on Friday, but she was coughing very, very badly a week ago, and even before that, if you remember. This wasn’t the first time,” Trump said Monday morning on CNBC. “So it’s very interesting to see what is going on.”

He wished her well, and then seemed to question the legitimacy of the diagnosis. He said “interesting,” a few times, hinting that perhaps there is something deeper that the Clinton campaign isn’t disclosing.


And as Twitter so often does after game changing events such as a routine pneumonia diagnosis, an inventive hashtag was hatched: #BodyDouble. Yes, as of Monday morning, that was a trending topic. People were voicing their–seemingly very real in some cases–concerns that Clinton has been using a body double, not only for Sunday’s 9/11 anniversary event, but for years before that.

Take a look at some of Twitter’s finest #BodyDouble musings below:

Alec Siegel
Alec Siegel is a staff writer at Law Street Media. When he’s not working at Law Street he’s either cooking a mediocre tofu dish or enjoying a run in the woods. His passions include: gooey chocolate chips, black coffee, mountains, the Animal Kingdom in general, and John Lennon. Baklava is his achilles heel. Contact Alec at ASiegel@LawStreetMedia.com.



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