Aside from an ongoing bout of pneumonia, Hillary Clinton is in good physical and mental condition, her doctor said in a new letter released Wednesday.
Clinton has a mild case of non-contagious bacterial pneumonia, Dr. Lisa Bardack said, and she is taking a 10-day regimen of Levaquin to address it.
“She is recovering well with antibiotics and rest,” Bardack said. “She continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as president of the United States.”
Bardack recounted the last few weeks that led up to the disclosure on Sunday of Clinton’s pneumonia diagnosis, which has attracted extensive news coverage.
The doctor examined Clinton on Sept. 2, she said, after the candidate reported a low-grade fever, congestion, and fatigue. Over the next few days, Clinton’s congestion worsened and she developed a cough. Bardack saw Clinton again on Sept. 9, and a CT scan revealed small right middle-lobe pneumonia.
Two days later, Clinton became dehydrated and overheated at a 9/11 memorial service, the episode that eventually brought the diagnosis to public attention. Bardack examined Clinton again after she returned home and advised the candidate to stay home for a few days to rest.
Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, said the background health information provided “all seems very unremarkable” but that the new release provided “a much more thorough discussion of her recent illness.”
He said the location of Clinton’s pneumonia, on the right side of her chest, was a common location and noted that Clinton has received the two pneumococcal vaccines that are recommended for people 65 and older. The bacteria the vaccines protect against can cause pneumonia, although it’s not clear what caused Clinton’s pneumonia.
Schaffner also noted that Clinton’s low blood pressure makes her more likely to get woozy in certain circumstances — such as when she’s dehydrated — but “from a cardiac point of view, that’s a helluva good blood pressure.”
Clinton, 68, recently underwent a complete physical exam, which found her blood pressure was 100/70, her heart rate was 70 and her cholesterol was 189, Bardack said. Those numbers were virtually unchanged from the letter that the Clinton campaign released last July.
Clinton also continues to take medication for her hypothyroidism and an anticoagulant as a precaution to avoid blood clots, which Clinton has had several times in her life, Bardack said.
Bardack also disclosed that Clinton developed a sinus and ear infection in January, with increased fluid in her left ear. An ear tube was used to address her symptoms and a follow-up exam in March 2016 showed no abnormalities, Bardack said.
The new disclosure follows Clinton’s recent bout with pneumonia and her faintness at the 9/11 memorial service, which was captured on video and led to intense media coverage of her health. Clinton’s campaign said she promptly recovered, though she took a few days to rest at home on the advice of her doctor.
Clinton’s physician said last year that she was “in excellent physical condition” in a letter that included about the same amount of details as reports released by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney during their campaigns. It recounted her history with blood clots, for which she still takes medication as a precaution, and her 2012 concussion, from which the doctor said Clinton had fully recovered. That was also the result of Clinton being sick (with a stomach virus) and getting dehydrated. She then fainted and suffered a concussion.
But some figures on the conservative fringe have been pushing the story much further, alleging that Clinton might suffer from more serious health conditions than she has disclosed. There has thus far been no evidence that Clinton has any other underlying health problems. Her doctor has pointedly said that she had no other issues aside from hypothyroidism, for which she also takes medication, and seasonal allergies.
Andrew Joseph contributed to this report.