Battling pneumonia, Clinton falls ill at 9/11 memorial

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NEW YORK, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, diagnosed with pneumonia, became overheated and fell ill at a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony in an episode that renewed focus on her health less than two months before U.S. voters to elect their next president.

Clinton had a medical examination when she got back to her home in Chappaqua, New York, according to a campaign aide. Her doctor, Lisa Bardack, said in a statement that she has been experiencing a cough related to allergies and that an examination on Friday showed that she was suffering from pneumonia.

See photos of Clinton at the 9/11 event

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Clinton overheats at 9/11 event
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Clinton overheats at 9/11 event
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Democratic presidental nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives with an unidentified woman at the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum on September 11, 2016 in New York City. Hillary Clinton left a September 11 Commemoration Ceremony early after feeling overheated and went to her daughter's house to rest. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leaves a memorial service at the National 9/11 Memorial September 11, 2016 in New York. The United States on Sunday commemorated the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (R) and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer attend ceremonies to mark the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks at the National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York, United States September 11, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Democratic presidental nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum on September 11, 2016 in New York City. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump attended the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton attends ceremonies to mark the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks at the National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York, United States September 11, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton leaves ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks at the National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York, United States September 11, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives for ceremonies to mark the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks at the National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York, United States September 11, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (R) attend ceremonies to mark the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks at the National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York, United States September 11, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (R) and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer attend ceremonies to mark the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks at the National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York, United States September 11, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leaves a memorial service at the National 9/11 Memorial September 11, 2016 in New York. The United States on Sunday commemorated the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Democratic presidental nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) attends the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony with New York city mayor Bill de Blasio (R) and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (L) at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum on September 11, 2016 in New York City. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump attended the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives to attend a ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial, in New York, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, on the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Democratic presidental nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves the home of her daughter Chelsea Clinton on September 11, 2016 in New York City. Hillary Clinton left a September 11 Commemoration Ceremony early after feeling overheated and went to her daughter's house to rest. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leaves her daughter's apartment building after resting on September 11, 2016 in New York. Clinton departed from a remembrance ceremony on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks after feeling 'overheated,' but was later doing 'much better,' her campaign said. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton leaves her daughter Chelsea's home in New York, New York, United States September 11, 2016, after Clinton left ceremonies commemorating the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks feeling "overheated." REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton leaves ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks at the National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York, United States September 11, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Democratic presidental nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum on September 11, 2016 in New York City. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump attended the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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"She was put on antibiotics and advised to rest and modify her schedule. While at this morning's event, she became overheated and dehydrated. I have just examined her and she is now re-hydrated and recovering nicely," Bardack said.

The 68-year-old Clinton abruptly departed the high-profile, televised event in New York City earlier Sunday and a video on social media appears to show her swaying and her knees buckling before she is helped into a motorcade event.

She was taken to her daughter Chelsea's home in Manhattan and emerged around two hours later on a warm and muggy morning, wearing sunglasses and telling reporters that she was "feeling great."

The video came from an unverified Twitter account under the name Zdenek Gazda, who did not respond to a request for comment.

The Clinton campaign did not respond to repeated requests for comment about the authenticity of the video.

Political strategists said the campaign should confront the health issue head-on to tamp down any concerns, particularly as Republican rival Donald Trump and some of his high-profile supporters have repeatedly argued that she lacked the "stamina" to battle adversaries abroad.

"The bottom line is the Clinton campaign is going to have to be completely forthright about Clinton's health," said Bud Jackson, a Virginia-based Democratic strategist.

Jackson suggested that "it would not be a bad move" if the campaign released more information in a crucial time of the race in which conservatives have touted conspiracies about Clinton's health.

They have implied in recent weeks that Clinton's coughing spells on the campaign trail were a sign of deeper problems.

Moments on the trail that have some concerned about Clinton's health

10 PHOTOS
Moments on the trail that have some concerned over Hillary Clinton's health
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Moments on the trail that have some concerned over Hillary Clinton's health
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stops her speech to cough at the 11th Congressional District Labor Day festival at Luke Easter Park in Cleveland, Ohio, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, has a throat lozenge during a coughing fit in the final hour of a marathon testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds up a glass of water as she struggles to contain a coughing fit as she speaks at the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines while campaigning in Des Moines, Iowa January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton leaves ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks at the National 9/11 memorial The Hillary Clinton campaign disclosed she had been diagnosed with pneumonia, after a social media video appeared to show her swaying and her knees buckling as she left the memorial ceremony in New York. REUTERS/Brian Snyder 
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pauses to drink water after coughing as she speaks at the 11th Congressional District Labor Day festival at Luke Easter Park in Cleveland, Ohio, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES - 2016/02/16: Mrs. Clinton interrupted by coughing spasm during her speech. Presidential candidate and former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at Shomburg Center on her plans for strengthening the Black community and improving opportunity for minorities if elected president. (Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pauses to drink water after coughing as she speaks at the 11th Congressional District Labor Day festival at Luke Easter Park in Cleveland, Ohio, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 05: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pauses to take a drink of water to help soothe a cough during a campaign rally at Luke Easter Park on September 5, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. Clinton is kicking off a Labor Day campaign swing to Ohio and Iowa on a new campaign plane large enough to accommodate her traveling press corp. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 26: Cough drops and a microphone sit on a stool for democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a campaign event on May 26, 2016 in San Francisco, California. Hillary Clinton is campaigning in the San Francisco Bay Area ahead of California's presidential primary on June 7th. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton struggles to contain a coughing fit as she speaks at the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines while campaigning in Des Moines, Iowa January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
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PRESIDENTIAL PRECEDENTS

Past presidential candidates have released much more detailed information about their health than either Trump, 70, or Clinton.

For example, John McCain, the failed 2008 Republican presidential nominee, allowed reporters to see 1,173 pages of medical records after concerns were raised about a cancer scare.

Republican strategist Art Hackney of Alaska, who chaired former President George W. Bush's campaigns there, doubted Sunday's health scare will fade away quickly, saying that the Trump campaign "will milk it."

"These things tend to be fanned; the flames fanned like crazy by those who will use it to make one story take attention away from other stories," he said.

He added, however, "I just can't for the life of me think this impacts any American who isn't already on one side or the other" in the Clinton-Trump race for the White House.

Clinton had no more events on her schedule for Sunday and went, as previously planned, to her home in Chappaqua, 30 miles (50 km) north of New York City.

She is scheduled to begin a trip to California and Nevada on Monday.

As the solemn ceremony began at the site of the World Trade Center that was attacked by two hijacked airliners 15 years ago, there was patchy sunlight, with temperatures at about 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6 Celsius). But the high humidity early into the ceremony caused it to feel much hotter in the crowd at times.

Clinton wore a high-collared shirt and a dark pant suit and donned sunglasses for the morning event.

Democratic Representative Joe Crowley of New York, a Clinton supporter who attended the event, told Reuters that it was "incredibly, stiflingly hot" during the ceremony.

CAPPING DIFFICULT DAYS

Clinton has been in the news before for serious health issues.

In December 2012, she suffered a concussion and shortly afterward developed a blood clot.

In a letter released by her doctor in July 2015, Clinton was described as being in "excellent health" and "fit to serve" in the White House. It noted that her current medical conditions include hyperthyroidism and seasonal pollen allergies.

However brief her illness was on Sunday, it comes in the wake of some tough days for Clinton, as national polls showed her lead over Trump diminishing. A Reuters/Ipsos poll of likely voters showed an 8-point lead for Clinton had vanished by the last week of August.

On Saturday, Clinton came under fire from Republicans and on social media for saying Friday night that "half" of Trump's supporters belonged in a "basket of deplorables." She later said she regretted using the word "half."

Clinton's speech at a campaign rally earlier this month in Cleveland was interrupted by a coughing spell. During the speech, she quipped, "Every time I think about Trump I get allergic." She then resumed her speech.

That episode fueled speculation from conservative political quarters about her health. Trump supporters have been tweeting unsubstantiated theories regarding Clinton's health under the hashtag #HillarysHealth.

Trump has also been under pressure to release detailed information on his health and medical history.

Instead, in December, Trump's doctor wrote in a short letter that was made public that his blood pressure and laboratory results "were astonishingly excellent" and that he would be "the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." (Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Alana Wise, Emily Stephenson and Sarah Lynch in Washington; Writing by Richard Cowan; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Mary Milliken)

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