Dem lawmakers: Clinton should have disclosed illness sooner
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Democratic lawmakers say Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonButtigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice Senate GOP sees early Supreme Court vote as political booster shot Poll: 51 percent of voters want to abolish the electoral college MORE shouldn’t have waited two days to disclose her pneumonia, saying the delay needlessly fueled questions about her willingness to be transparent with the public.

But Democrats are still rallying around their nominee and pushing back against Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE’s claims that she is not physically fit enough to serve as commander in chief.


Lawmakers say Clinton’s initial secrecy was a mistake because it fueled suspicions about her lack of openness, a persistent line of criticism during the campaign.

The illness came to light only after Clinton felt overcome from heat exhaustion and dehydration during an outdoor Sept. 11 memorial event in blazing temperatures. Her knees buckled and she stumbled leaving the event. 

“It would have been better to disclose it right away. I think it would have helped her politically because she would have gotten sympathy,” said Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.).

He speculated that Clinton was reluctant to be more forthcoming because Trump has raised a variety of concerns about her health with scant evidence. 

“Trump has been criticizing her health without any facts or data,” he said. 

Trump, the GOP nominee, ripped the media last week for not devoting more coverage to one of Clinton’s coughing attacks. 

Last month, he charged his opponent “lacks the mental and physical stamina” to take on radical Islamic terror groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Rep. Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchShakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' Vermont Rep. Peter Welch easily wins primary Vermont has a chance to show how bipartisanship can tackle systemic racism MORE (D-Vt.), who supported Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice Bernie Sanders warns of 'nightmare scenario' if Trump refuses election results Harris joins women's voter mobilization event also featuring Pelosi, Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda MORE (I-Vt.) in the Democratic presidential primary, said Clinton’s decision not to reveal her sickness immediately provides ammunition to critics who say she shuns transparency because she has things to hide. 

"In retrospect it would have been better, obviously, if she and her campaign had disclosed that she had pneumonia," he said. "And then, by the way, her campaign would have kept her out of what was clearly a punishing situation when you're in an oven, in effect, and you've got pneumonia." 

As for the illness itself, Welch said, it’s “probably nothing.” 

“I don’t think it’s a real indication of anything other than an ordinary health issue,” he said.

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D) of Michigan agreed that Clinton "probably should have" revealed the illness sooner. 

"In retrospect, I hope she realizes that," Dingell said Tuesday on CNN's "New Day" program.

Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, questioned Clinton's motives during an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.

"Why in the world did Hillary Clinton lie to everyone and conceal such an important fact for two days?" she said. "Saying she was overheated and dehydrated and then of course, hours and hours later, after her health had become the biggest trending story of the day.... Why wait all those hours?" 

Trump last month called on Clinton to release her detailed medical records and has pledged to do the same. 

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterPence seeks to boost Daines in critical Montana Senate race This World Suicide Prevention Day, let's recommit to protecting the lives of our veterans Filibuster fight looms if Democrats retake Senate MORE (Mont.) said knowing in retrospect the media uproar caused by Clinton’s secrecy, she should have revealed her diagnosis immediately. 

“Sure. If we had known what was going to happen was going to happen,” he said.

But he noted that politicians often don’t announce their illnesses to the world.

“You get sick all the time and as a public official you don’t tell the press about it,” he said, adding that he has been fighting bronchitis for a month. “I think she handled it entirely appropriately and she’s going to be fine.” 

Democrats are also concerned about Clinton pushing herself too hard. They say she should rest up before hitting the trail again. 

“I would hope she listens to her doctors, takes a week of rest and then get back out in the field and hopefully win this election,” Ruppersberger said.

Rep. John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthGOP, White House struggle to unite behind COVID-19 relief House seeks ways to honor John Lewis Karen Bass's star rises after leading police reform push MORE (D-Ky.) said campaign events can be grueling for someone in their late sixties, especially in the summer. 

“She’s two weeks older than I am so I know what it feels like to be that age,” said Yarmuth, 68. 

“All of us have been at events where we were out in hot sun and started to feel a little woozy. I never fainted,” he added. 

Clinton will turn 69 on Oct. 26.

Democrats are trying to turn the tables by raising questions about Trump’s health. He celebrated his 70th birthday in June.

Dr. Harold Bornstein, Trump’s personal physician since 1980, wrote an open letter in December declaring that the GOP nominee “will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraState AGs condemn HUD rule allowing shelters to serve people on basis of biological sex OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump casts doubt on climate change science during briefing on wildfires | Biden attacks Trump's climate record amid Western wildfires, lays out his plan | 20 states sue EPA over methane emissions standards rollback 20 states sue EPA over methane emissions standards rollback MORE (D-Calif.) told reporters at a press conference Tuesday “we still have zero real information on Donald Trump unless you consider that letter, that Alice in Wonderland letter.” 

Becerra questioned whether Bornstein, who has admitting privileges to Lenox Hill Hospital, was really Trump’s doctor. 

“My wife’s a doctor and that would never pass a smell test by any physician as a real letter on a person’s medical history,” he said. 

Trump’s campaign submitted the letter in lieu of medical records.

Bornstein wrote that Trump’s blood pressure and laboratory tests were “astonishingly excellent” and described his physical strength and stamina as “extraordinary.”