The Politics of Pneumonia


With the presidential election coming up in a few months, it is impossible to turn on the news and not see a headline relating to either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Whether they are talking about policies they plan on implementing upon their election, or even if they are just visiting a family member, these two are being discussed nonstop. It is no surprise then how much press Hillary Clinton has received this past weekend when she became sick during a 9/11 commemoration ceremony and was forced to leave early. In the past few months, Clinton’s health has been a major topic of discussion given her past health records, like her coughing fits on the campaign trail. Many fear that she is not in good health and will not be able to serve as Commander-in-chief (Howard).

After Clinton abruptly left the commemoration ceremony, she was able to recuperate at her daughter’s apartment in New York City and returned appearing normal to bystanders. Although, everything was not as it seemed. Later on, Clinton’s physician made a statement informing the public that the former Secretary had come down with a case of pneumonia. Pneumonia is a bacterial lung infection that can last for up to three weeks. The type of person who is likely to catch pneumonia is either a young child or elderly adult. For elderly adults, the healing process can take longer. While this infection is easily treatable with antibiotics, it should be treated seriously as many people die each year from pneumonia, predominantly older patients. One catches pneumonia through the typical ways in which an illness is spread: coughing and sneezing. In addition, one with a poor immune system and bad health habits is more likely to become infected (American Lung Association).


So what exactly does this mean for Hillary Clinton, does she have poor health habits? Is she physically unfit for such a prestigious position? Not necessarily. As we have covered in class, causation does not equal correlation. Even though Clinton has experienced poor health in the past and is considered elderly (over 65), these variables do not mean that those are the reasons that she became ill. For example, a staff member within close proximity of her could have infected her. In addition, being the public figure that she is, the general public with whom she greets every day could have infected her. In other words, a third confounding variable could have taken part in Clinton contracting pneumonia. Therefore, while it should be taken into account the health of each candidate running for president, this illness should not prove to be detrimental to Clinton’s campaign.



Hillary Clinton Rally


2 thoughts on “The Politics of Pneumonia

  1. Francis Patrick Cotter

    Good job tying this post in with the lessons in class. The fact the pneumonia has been contorted into a political move is ridiculous and a good example of how ridiculous this presidential race has gotten.

  2. Xander Roker

    I liked this post especially when you tied it back to the causation versus correlation discussion that we’ve covered in class this semester. You’re exactly right, her being ill is not necessarily a result of her age or her habits. It also should not be considered a reason to take points away from her validity as a presidential candidate, as Donald Trump has argued.

    Read more about that here:

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