Last week, NBC News faced heavy criticism from the Hillary campaign for daring to have the audacity to write about Hillary's coughing fit at a rally in Cleveland, Ohio. After writing about the coughing fit, which NBC described as "one of the most aggressive she's had during her 2016 run (which happens to be accurate), Andrew Rafferty received the following snarky tweet from Hillary's traveling press secretary, Nick Merrill.
Now NBC has guaranteed its Clintonian wrath in perpetuity by posing the following 9 questions:
1. Why hide the pneumonia diagnosis?
Clinton suffered a coughing attack last week during an appearance in Cleveland, which she dismissed as seasonal allergies. She received her pneumonia diagnosis on Friday, but the public was not told about it until hours after the incident at the memorial, raising questions about whether Clinton had any plans to ever inform the public. Between the diagnosis and the near-collapse, Clinton appeared at two fundraisers, ran a national security working session, and held a press conference.
Clinton's campaign appears to have, at best, withheld information from the public and — at worst — misled them by aggressively batting down "conspiracy theories" that her coughing fit was anything more than allergies. Opponents are already seeing the incident as proof of their claims that Clinton has been hiding health issues. And others may now be more incredulous of the campaign's statements on her health.
2. Has Clinton been otherwise ill in recent days?
Has she had pneumonia in the past? Pneumonia is common, but still a potentially dangerous disease that sends about 1 million people to the hospital every year and kills about 50,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
3. Who made the call not to go to the hospital and when?
And did Clinton lose consciousness at all? After leaving the memorial, Clinton went to her daughter Chelsea's apartment and was later examined by her doctor at her own home in Chappaqua, New York. Why was it decided not to visit a hospital immediately?
4. What is the campaign's position on the protective press pool?
Presidents and presidential candidates have traditionally traveled with a small, rotating group of journalists so the American public can get real-time updates about unexpected incidents—exactly like the one on Sunday. But Clinton left her press pool behind at the Sept. 11 event and kept them in the dark for 90 minutes before providing any information on her whereabouts or health. Clinton has yet to agree to full "protective pool" coverage, which would allow reporters to follow her door-to-door. Will she now? (Trump, so far, has not allowed for pool coverage, and reporters do not fly with his campaign to events.)
5. Will Clinton allow a true protective pool if elected president?
Clinton's health scare is already expected to potentially affect financial markets, but the impact would be far more dramatic if she were president. A 90-minute window with no news about a missing president could lead people to assume the worst. Clinton's, or her campaign's, choice to leave the press pool behind broke with precedent on access—will that change if she's in the White House? Meanwhile, because Clinton has so far not agreed to full coverage, reporters have no way of knowing if she made other stops Sunday.
6. Does Clinton accept the obligation to inform the public about her health?
Bill Clinton faced questions about his health too, and while he was unforthcoming in 1992, he sat for a detailed interview with the New York Times in 1996. "[T]he public has a right to know the condition of the president's health," Clinton said at the time.
7. How will this change her schedule going forward?
After canceling plans Monday and Tuesday, Clinton's schedule the rest of week remains up in the air. She is scheduled to appear in Las Vegas on Wednesday and Washington, D.C. Thursday.
8. Will Clinton's health affect the first debate?
Clinton's first debate with Donald Trump is just over two weeks away, on September 26, so she'll want to be fully recovered by then.
9. How will voters respond?
Clinton's core vulnerability is that most Americans don't find her honest or trustworthy. Will voters now feel like they've been misled about her health? Or will the vulnerability of the illness make Americans empathize more with someone who often has difficulty connecting.
Very "alt-rightish" of you NBC. How dare you continue with these baseless questions about Hillary's health in an apparent attempt to perpetuate the endless conspiracy theories of her political foes. Who among us has never fallen ill with a cold and subsequently lost all motor functions while being dragged into a van? This is not news...get a life.
And while everyone has turned their attention to Hillary and her health issues, no one has taken the time to question how the virus that recently took up residence in her lungs might actually be feeling about the whole situation. Luckily the infectious agent recently opened up to The Onion, and it's terrified.
Expressing regret over its reckless decision to infect the Democratic presidential nominee, the virus causing Hillary Clinton’s pneumonia was reportedly terrified Monday after remembering what the Clintons were capable of. “Oh shit, what the hell was I thinking—you don’t get on the wrong side of these people,” said the infectious agent, which became increasingly worried while recalling just how far the Clintons were willing to go to get what they wanted, as well as what often happened to those who dared to cross the powerful politicians. “Everybody knows you never mess with the Clintons. These people won’t hesitate to absolutely crush you, and they have the money and connections to do it. I knew I should’ve just stayed clear. I’m so fucked.” At press time, the horrified virus was reportedly planning to avoid the Clintons’ wrath by taking its own life.