Former Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Tevi Troy, who served during President George W. Bush's administration, weighed in on the upcoming presidential election Tuesday in an exclusive interview with NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made headlines Sunday when she left a 9/11 anniversary ceremony in New York after feeling “overheated.” Her doctor later revealed she was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday.
That scare led to skepticism about the former Secretary of State’s health. Troy voiced concern for both Clinton and her opponent, Republican nominee Donald Trump, noting that neither has been completely forthcoming with their medical records.
“I do have concerns,” Troy said. “Both of these candidates are about 70. Both of them are not fully clear about their health records.”
Troy, a political historian who now serves as the president of the American Health Policy Institute, said Clinton “has a long history of not being truthful with the American people.”
“If you don’t have credibility during a disaster, that can be a major problem,” he said. “You need to have the American people believe what you are saying.”
“In this case, with both Secretary Clinton and with Donald Trump, we have reason to question it even before the administration has even started.”
Troy credited Arizona Sen. John McCain, who is 80 years old, for being forthcoming with thousands of pages of medical records. He said Clinton’s lack of transparency about her health could potentially hurt her campaign.
“What you need are candidates with credibility so that if they say they’re healthy, and doctors say they’re healthy, you can believe that,” he said. “In this case, unfortunately we have reason to be somewhat skeptical about Secretary Clinton’s claims about her health and that’s a problem.”
With the November election only eight weeks away, new national polls show the presidential race tightening as Clinton takes a second day off from the campaign trail. According to an NBC News/Survey Monkey poll released Tuesday, Clinton leads Trump 48 percent to 44 percent, a decline of 2 percent since last week.
NBC’s Chuck Todd, who was in town Tuesday for a Better Government Association luncheon, also touched on Trump and Clinton’s health, claiming “we know more on her medical history than his.”
“We know next to nothing about his medical history,” he said.
Todd speculated that Clinton’s health issues could be tied to her age, but said he wasn’t ready to look at them as a defining issue.
“One thing I’ve learned about this campaign, whatever you think is the issue of the moment, the one thing we can guarantee is, it’s not,” Todd said. “Something else comes about.”
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama campaigned for Clinton in Philadelphia Tuesday. During the event, Obama said Clinton “does not quit.” Additionally, Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, was scheduled to be in Chicago Wednesday for two fundraisers, one of which is hosted by former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley.
Clinton is expected to return to the campaign trail Thursday.