Clinton collapses at speech, recovers

Senator resumes schedule after fainting at N.Y. event

stomach virus is blamed

February 01, 2005|By Elise Castelli | Elise Castelli,LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton fainted while giving a speech yesterday in Buffalo, N.Y. Her office said the episode was caused by a stomach virus she may have contracted over the weekend.

Clinton, 57, collapsed shortly after telling the audience at Buffalo's private Saturn Club that she felt ill. The club's general manager told the Associated Press that Clinton was able to walk out on her own. She did not complete her planned remarks on Social Security.

"It wasn't as dramatic as it sounds," Clinton, a New York Democrat, said at another event a short time later.

Her press secretary, Philippe Reines, released this statement: "Senator Clinton is suffering from a stomach virus. She felt weak, needed to sit down, and then fainted briefly. She received immediate medical attention at the site and is now proceeding with her schedule as planned."

During an editorial board meeting at The Buffalo News yesterday morning, Clinton said she and some staff members had fallen ill at a weekend retreat in Westchester County, where she lives, said Gerald Goldberg, editor of the newspaper's editorial page.

"We're not sure whether she said stomach virus or not, but she said she got sick, throwing-up-in-middle-of-night kind of sick," he said. Clinton did not appear ill during the meeting, he said.

Later in the day she spoke about health care to about 600 people at Canisius College.

"She was absolutely terrific, and it was the best I heard her speak in about 10 years," said John J. LaFalce, a former New York congressman who teaches at the college. He said Clinton stood throughout her 40-minute speech and answered questions without mentioning her illness.

"We gave her the option of sitting, and she said, `Let's see how it goes,'" LaFalce said.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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