Clinton supporters recall “fainting” spell during 2005 Buffalo visit

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Four days after a near fainting spell, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is back on the campaign trail.

The incident has prompted a ton of chatter and questions about her medical history.

It’s not the first time the former Secretary of State gave supporters a bit of a scare.

In 2005, Clinton, then a U.S. Senator, briefly fainted during a luncheon at the Saturn Club in Buffalo.

“She just got a little faint and they had to stop the program for a little bit,” recalled Len Lenihan, who at the time served as chairman of the Erie County Democratic Committee. “She came right back and finished the luncheon.”

Later that day, Clinton delivered another speech in Buffalo and reassured the audience.

“It wasn’t as dramatic as it sounds,” Clinton remarked during the appearance. “I came up with the 24 hour virus in the last 24 hours, and I’ll be fine.”

“She warned us in the beginning,” said Susan Grelick, a former Town of Amherst supervisor who there that day. “She told us that she wasn’t feeling well and that she was being treated for some kind of virus.”

Grelick says she thought it was “awesome” that Clinton would decide to continue with her speech even though she didn’t feel well.

“We just admired her for her high work ethic,” Grelick added.

On Sunday, Clinton, suffered a near fainting spell while leaving a September 11, 2001 memorial service in New York City.

Her campaign said she was feeling “overheated.”

Former president Bill Clinton told CBS News that his wife had been diagnosed with pneumonia. He did not believe that her recent faintness was a sign of a more serious medical issue.

“Well if it is, it’s a mystery to me and all of her doctors,” Clinton told CBS News’ Charlie Rose. “Frequently, not frequently. Rarely, but on more than one occasion over the last many, many years the same sort of thing has happened to her when she just got severely dehydrated.”

Len Lenihan, a veteran of rough and tumble politics, says presidential campaigns are grueling.

“These are human beings running for an office 18 hours a day, seven days a week, under intense competitive stressful conditions,” Lenihan said. “This is a grind and the fact that somebody got dizzy and a little faint on a hot Sunday morning is not shocking.”

Lenihan says the race between Clinton and Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, is very competitive, and says it appears “they’re both pretty healthy.”

But he acknowledges that Americans have a right to know the health of the candidates and whether they’re up to the job.

“Everything is being thrown up against the wall. Everything is fair game at this point. But it has to be fair game within reason.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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