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Hillary Clinton leaves 9/11 event for health reasons: what we know, and what we don’t

Her campaign said she became “overheated” in downtown Manhattan.

hillary clinton (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton abruptly left the September 11, 2001, ceremonies in downtown Manhattan on Sunday after becoming “overheated,” according to her campaign. A subsequent statement from her doctor revealed that the candidate is fighting pneumonia.

Fox News first reported that Clinton had a “medical episode” around 10 am Sunday morning, citing law enforcement sources saying that she had “appeared to faint.”

Shortly after leaving the service, video surfaced of Clinton stumbling and appearing to struggle to walk straight en route to her motorcade:

"Secretary Clinton attended the September 11th Commemoration Ceremony for just an hour and thirty minutes this morning to pay her respects and greet some of the families of the fallen," said Nick Merrill, a Clinton spokesperson. "During the ceremony, she felt overheated, so departed to go to her daughter's apartment and is feeling much better."

Around 5 pm, Dr. Lisa Bardack, Hillary Clinton’s doctor and the head of internal medicine at Mount Sinai Health System, released a statement on Clinton’s health:

Health conspiracy theorists dog Clinton

The episode has gotten extra scrutiny because of wild rumors about Clinton’s health, which have particularly caught fire among some conservative publications, as Vox’s Tara Golshan explains:

Clinton’s doctor has attested to her well-being at the start of her campaign, releasing a detailed letter about her medical history that ultimately stated that Clinton was "fit to serve" as the president. (This letter was more detailed than the one Trump’s doctor released, which merely described Trump’s health with lofty adjectives.)

Clinton's doctor reiterated those claims recently — in response to fake medical records that surfaced on the internet — saying yet again Clinton is in "excellent" condition to be president. Right now, there's no compelling reason to think otherwise.

Is faint-gate a “game change”?

Some writers were quick to conclude that Clinton’s “overheating” episode today should change the political calculus of the campaign

“Clinton falling ill at a memorial service on the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks Sunday morning will catapult questions about her health from the ranks of conservative conspiracy theory to perhaps the central debate in the presidential race over the coming days,” wrote the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza.

Calling this the “central debate” of the presidential election may be a step too far. But at the very least, it suggests we’ll hear increased calls for both Clinton and Trump to release their full medical records as November draws near.