When asked by CNN on Monday night why she didn’t reveal her pneumonia diagnosis sooner, Clinton was convincing: “I just didn’t think it was going to be that big of a deal.” Over the past day or so, that is the narrative the Clinton campaign has put out surrounding her illness. She hadn’t been feeling well and had a persistent cough, and her doctor diagnosed her with pneumonia, prescribed her antibiotics, and instructed her to get five days of bed rest. Clinton, thinking she had a light schedule, ignored the advice and attended the 9/11 memorial, where the heat and humidity got to her, causing her to pass out, though she quickly regained consciousness.
In leaks and anonymous interviews, aides have also told the press that Clinton’s problem is dehydration. “She won’t drink water, and you try telling Hillary Clinton she has to drink water” one person in “Clinton’s orbit” told Politico on Monday. Bill backed that up, telling Charlie Rose that his wife often gets dehydrated. The Clinton campaign, in other words, is countering the right’s (deranged) narrative—that she’s being kept alive by batteries so she can do multiple Benghazis as president—with its own: that Clinton’s problem is that she just works so damn hard.
The problem, however, is that it’s not enough. The campaign spent weeks mocking the “cough” issue, only to concede that it was serious enough to cause Clinton a medical scare. The Clinton campaign seems to understand this, and is readying the release of more medical records. But the best thing that Clinton could do, if she’s healthy enough, would be to take questions from reporters about her status and about the campaign itself. Over the past two days, Clinton’s lack of transparency has become a focal point of the campaign alongside her health issues. Taking questions from reporters could kill two birds with one stone. And, while we’re at it, Donald Trump should also release his tax returns.