WASHINGTON ― Top House Democrats this week defended how Hillary Clinton has handled being diagnosed with pneumonia, arguing that the candidate faces more intense scrutiny than Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), who stood next to Clinton during a 9/11 memorial ceremony on Sunday, pushed back when asked at a press conference if the candidate hadn’t been transparent about her health.
“All of a sudden it’s about the transparency of Mrs. Clinton,” Crowley said Tuesday. “What about the transparency of Mr. Trump, who refuses once again ― beside his doctor’s note ― he continues to refuse to show any of his tax returns.”
Piling on, Crowley pointed to a recent Washington Post report showing that Trump used his foundation to contribute other people’s money to charitable organizations and take the credit.
“There’s a double standard for Mrs. Clinton,” Crowley continued. “[Trump] doesn’t have to show anything. He could walk right up to the election and show absolutely nothing, continue to repeat lies. Lie after lie after lie, and he’s not held accountable.”
Clinton’s campaign made her pneumonia diagnosis public hours after she stumbled while exiting the memorial ceremony, but critics argued that the former secretary of state hadn’t been transparent about her health because her doctor had issued the diagnosis on Friday. Clinton previously released a summary of her health and plans to make more medical records available, her campaign said this week.
A number of top Democrats have come to Clinton’s defense, attempting downplay the severity of her pneumonia. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) revealed on Monday that he was diagnosed with pneumonia weeks ago and that the illness has passed, The Associated Press reported. Vice President Joe Biden said during a visit to Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday that he had walking pneumonia last year, according to a pool report.
Trump released one note from his doctor in December. In it, gastroenterologist Harold Bornstein said Trump would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”
Bornstein revealed last month that he wrote the note in just five minutes, while a car sent by Trump waited for him outside.
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) conceded that it is fair to ask about Clinton’s health and question the campaign waiting to announce the diagnosis, but added that Trump’s campaign should be treated the same way.
“We know less about Donald Trump’s health today than we’ve known about Hillary Clinton’s health for some time,” Becerra said.