Throughout this very intense and tight presidential race, concerns have risen about whether or not the candidates are healthy enough to hold the most prestigious political position in the United States.
“We’re always right to be concerned about any presidential candidate’s health because we want somebody who’s strong, vital mentally and physically capable of handling the job,” said Dr. Shumaker, a professor in Political Science and Law at Emory.
On September 11, 2016, Hillary Clinton attended a 9/11 memorial ceremony, where she reportedly felt dehydrated and overheated. A video recording shows Clinton wobbling as she made her way into her vehicle, and almost falling as she attempted to enter it. This caused a major media outbreak, making health an even more crucial issue in the 2016 presidential race. It even pushed Donald Trump to release his health records on The Dr. Oz show.
The following day, Hillary Clinton announced she had been diagnosed with pneumonia. When asked if her attempt to hide the diagnosis would affect her campaign, Dr. Shumaker commented, “There was some concern that this was typical behavior from her and her campaign, not being as transparent as they should have been…it certainly didn’t help.”
Though to many this seemed to be a negative indicator of Hillary’s health, Dr. Shumaker received the news much differently, saying “If [she] can run a full campaign, and survive, [she’s] a pretty healthy person.”
It’s important to remember politicians, as perfect as they may try to be seen, are human. Incidents like these shouldn’t be seen as negative, but should serve as a reminder that candidates are people too.
“President Bush almost choked to death on a pretzel, and he’s a healthy man!” added Dr. Shumaker, driving her point home.
– Orlando Martinez