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Hillary Clinton back campaigning after taking time off with pneumonia

Published 15/09/2016

Hillary Clinton waves after leaving an apartment building in New York on September 11 (AP)
Hillary Clinton waves after leaving an apartment building in New York on September 11 (AP)

Back on the campaign trail, a reflective Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that her three-day, doctor-mandated break gave her new perspective on why she is running to be president.

"I am running for everyone working hard to support their families, everyone who has been knocked down but gets back up," Mrs Clinton said at a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The rally marked Mrs Clinton's first public appearance since Sunday, when she abruptly left a 9/11 memorial service after getting dizzy and dehydrated.

After a video emerged showing her stumbling and being supported by aides, Mrs Clinton's campaign said she had been diagnosed with pneumonia.

"Sitting at home was pretty much the last place I wanted to be," Mrs Clinton said with a smile on Thursday, after walking on stage to James Brown's song I Feel Good.

Mrs Clinton's Sunday incident prompted new questions about both candidates' openness regarding their health.

Donald Trump released a new letter from his doctor on Thursday detailing his blood pressure, cholesterol and medications, one day after Mrs Clinton made public a letter from her physician with similar information. Both candidates' doctors declared them fit to serve as president.

Mr Trump's letter said the Republican is 6ft 3in and 236lb (16st 12lb) - giving him a body mass index falling into the "overweight" range.

The 70-year-old has blood pressure of 116 over 70 and his total cholesterol is 169, his doctor says.

Nr Trump's team appeared to take a swipe at Mrs Clinton's brief absence from the campaign trail in a statement accompanying the new health information.

"We are pleased to disclose all of the test results which show that Mr Trump is in excellent health, and has the stamina to endure - uninterrupted - the rigours of a punishing and unprecedented presidential campaign and, more importantly, the singularly demanding job of president of the United States," the campaign said.

Until Thursday, the only information on Mr Trump's health had come in a widely ridiculed letter from his doctor declaring he would be the healthiest person to ever serve as president. Before releasing the new details to the public, Mr Trump turned over a copy to Dr Mehmet Oz while taping an episode of Dr Oz's TV show.

Mrs Clinton mocked Mr Trump's television roll-out of his health records, saying: "I'll never be the showman that my opponent is - just look at the show he put on for Dr Oz today."

With two months until Election Day, the race between Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump is far tighter than many in both parties expected.

Mrs Clinton continues to be dragged down by voters' mistrust in her, but she still maintains more pathways than Trump to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.

Mrs Clinton's confidence in the electoral map was underscored in her decision to make her first stop this week in North Carolina, the only battleground state President Barack Obama lost in 2012.

Mr Trump almost certainly needs to carry the state in order to win the White House, while Mrs Clinton's team is eager to block his path.

Mrs Clinton slammed North Carolina governor Pat McCrory for signing a law to prevent transgender people from using lavatories in schools and state government buildings that do not correspond to the gender on their birth certificates.

The decision has angered businesses in the state, and this week the NCAA announced it was pulling seven sports championships from North Carolina.

"This is where bigotry leads, and we can't afford it, not here or anywhere else," Mrs Clinton said.

Mr Trump, after releasing his health information, spent Thursday laying out plans to lower taxes by 4.4 trillion US dollars over a decade and cut regulations, including some of those currently intended to protect the food Americans eat and the air they breathe.

The Republican said his plans would raise the nation's economic growth rate to at least 3.5%, well above its current rate of about 2%, and create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years.

The heart of Mr Trump's plan is a revised tax code, which includes a pledge that no business should pay more than 15% of its income in taxes, down from the current 35% highest corporate tax rate. Few businesses now pay the full 35% rate, taking advantage instead of many deductions in the existing tax code.


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