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We actually know a lot more about Hillary Clinton's health than we do about Donald Trump's

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We actually know a lot more about Hillary Clinton's health than we do about Donald Trump's

Watch: The battle of the candidates' doctor's notes

Are we entitled to candidates' medical records?

The political story of the week seems to be Hillary Clinton's health, as the Democratic presidential nominee was forced to cancel two day's worth of campaign appearances  due to a pneumonia diagnosis.

That national conversation, among other things, has sparked debate on whether the public is entitled to know detailed medical information about presidential candidates -- particularly because Clinton and her opponent Donald Trump would be two of the oldest people to ever take the office.

On health, we know more about Clinton than Trump

This week's conversation has mostly centered on Clinton's health due to her recent illness. But when it comes to candidates' health over time, the public actually knows a lot more about Clinton than Trump.

This is mostly because Clinton has been in the public sector much longer than her opponent. Before Trump became a candidate for office, it was relatively easy for him to hide any illness he may have suffered. Nor was he under any obligation to inform the public if he was feeling unwell.

More pressure on Clinton to disclose

Clinton, on the other hand, has been in the public eye for decades -- and therefore has faced more pressure to disclose illnesses. 

Take official health records, for example: Right now, there's not much out there for either candidate. Neither Clinton nor Trump have released detailed medical records, though Trump has pledged to do so On Monday, the Clinton campaign promised "more information"  as well. 

But there is a bit more official documentation from Clinton's camp when it comes to her health.

Clinton's health since 2012

In 2012, for example, Clinton suffered a blood clot after fainting and hitting herself on the head due to a previous stomach virus. Afterward, her doctors, Dr. Lisa Bardack and Dr. Gigi El-Bayoumi, released an official statement saying Clinton was "in good spirits, engaging with her doctors, her family, and her staff."

In 2015, Bardack released another statement about Clinton's health -- this one much more detailed. 

Clinton's detailed doctor's note

That letter, which can be read in full here, describes the treatment and follow-up to Clinton's 2012 blood clot.

It also notes previous health issues, including deep vein thrombosis and an elbow fracture. It lists medications Clinton takes, as well as whether Clinton has experienced side effects.  

It notes her family history of stroke and congestive heart failure, and the results of a recent physical exam. The letter also notes that Clinton currently experiences hypothyroidism and seasonal allergies.

Trump's sparse note

A couple months later, Trump released a similar letter, which can be read in full here.

That letter was much shorter than Clinton's. It was later revealed the doctor who wrote it had drafted it in just 5 minutes.

That letter does not list any previous conditions Trump suffered, and lists no family history of illness.  Instead, it compliments Trump's health as "astonishingly excellent," and that he would be "the healthiest individual ever elected."

Do I shake hands? Yes. But it's not something I like.
Donald Trump

Trump the germaphobe?

One thing we do know about Trump's health, however, is that he's not fond of the idea of getting sick. In 2005, Trump admitted he's afraid to shake people's hands "because he's terrified of catching diseases from others."

This is how he explained his phobia to Larry King at the time:


Trump on why he hates shaking hands

"I had a guy walk in my office the other day; he's obviously suffering. He comes up, 'Donald, Donald, how are you, shakes my hand, grabs me, hugs me.'

"I say, 'How are you doing?' He says, 'Oh, I'm so sick, I have a terrible flu...' For three days I'm worried about catching a flu.

"It's true, this is what happens. It's ridiculous... Do I shake hands? Yes... but it's not something I like."

Here's what Clinton's communications director thinks of the whole situation.

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