Hillary Clinton to return to gruelling campaign to stave off resurgent Donald Trump

New York: Hillary Clinton is "healthy and fit to serve" as US president, says her doctor, as the Democratic  campaign released updated medical information. The health and fitness of the two major-party candidates has remained a central focus of the race.

A two-page note by Clinton’s doctor aimed to reassure voters she is in good overall health coming off a pneumonia diagnosis and a near-collapse over the weekend while she was getting into her vehicle.

Over many months, Republican nominee Donald Trump, 70 has sought to raise questions about the health of Clinton, 68, and his supporters have asserted that she is hiding something about her health (her aides have denied this).

File image of Hillary Clinton. AFP

File image of Hillary Clinton. AFP

A master showman, Trump used Clinton's near-collapse to surprise the Dr Oz Show studio audience on Wednesday by revealing the results of a recent physical exam. During the taping, Trump handed Dr Mehmet Oz a one-page summary of the exam, which was conducted by Dr Harold N Bornstein last week.

"Bornstein is the same hyperbolic doctor who previously said Trump would, if elected, be the healthiest president in history," quipped CNN.

The synopsis did, however, show Trump is overweight and takes a statin, which is a type of drug that lowers cholesterol.

After three days recuperating at home in Chappaqua, Clinton will return to the campaign trail on Thursday with an appearance in North Carolina. She is facing one of the most severe tests of the campaign, with polls showing her losing ground nationally and in key battleground states.

"The underlying reasons behind her pre-Autumn fade have always been lurking in the shadows... Clinton is still queasy about electoral politics as a profession, grinds it out because it’s the only path to power, is allergic to most media and, in general, does the bare minimum required to get by," observed Politico.

"This is not a formula for a happy-warrior candidacy, and it is exceptionally dangerous at a time when her enemies (with a big assist from the Democratic nominee) have driven her unpopularity down into Trump-ian depths," added Politico.

The political news magazine said the tempering of Trump's volatility — with a reassurance that he can actually govern — is the key to unlocking the only path to victory Trump really has: Winning Florida and sweeping through the Appalachians and upper Midwest. "The most significant inroads Trump has made have been in Michigan and Wisconsin, where Clinton’s once-commanding leads have shrunk to low single digits," it reported.

Trump at 70, if he prevails would be the oldest newly elected president, eclipsing Ronald Reagan, who was 69 when he took the oath of office in 1981. Clinton, who turns 69 next month, would be the second-oldest.

Age is one reason that health has emerged as a campaign issue with the US media latching on to the statistic that beginning with Bill Clinton’s election in 1992, the past three presidents were first elected in their 40s or 50s.

In comparison, except for Rajiv Gandhi, most Indian prime ministers have been older veterans. Moraji Desai was 81 years old at the beginning of his term, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was 71, Manmohan Singh was 71, IK Gujral was 77, PV Narasimha Rao was 69. Narendra Modi is comparatively young at 63.

Many US presidents have endured illness and infirmity while in office. Democrat Franklin Roosevelt died in office in 1945. Republican Dwight Eisenhower suffered a heart attack. Reagan underwent cancer surgery. John Fitzgerald Kennedy suffered from a series of medical issues, but no condition seemed to cause him more distress than his chronic lower back pain.

Updated Date: Oct 25, 2016 12:32 PM

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