Our Opinion: Secretiveness inflated Clinton health scare


Hillary Clinton's health scare would have been a lesser deal if the campaign had been more forthcoming. The candidate and her team should learn from this.

The Democratic presidential candidate has cancelled a California trip while she recovers from pneumonia. The campaign didn't reveal this diagnosis for two days and first attributed her early exit from a September 11 ceremony to her becoming overheated. A video showed her apparently near collapse and reporters tweeted their frustration at being unable to learn what was happening from the campaign.

On Monday, a Clinton spokesman acknowledged that the campaign fell short in providing full information on the candidate's health situation in a timely manner and promised to provide more medical information in the coming days. Republican candidate Donald Trump, who at this point has not provided as much information about his medical background as has his opponent, promised to do the same.

Secretary of State Clinton's predilection for secrecy, which has evidently been handed down to her campaign, is understandable given the lies and misinformation that have long been spread about her. In terms of her health, the right-wing media has asserted at one time or another, and without evidence, that she is suffering from Parkinson's disease, cancer, radiation poisoning and brain damage.

But while understandable, this secretiveness only feeds stereotypes about her trustworthiness, playing into the hands of those who despise her. Ideally, the campaign's acknowledgment of error in handling the health scare will translate to more transparency on the part of the candidate and her campaign as well.


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