5:52 PM EDT, June 5, 2014
In an interview with People magazine, Hillary Rodham Clinton brushed aside recent questions Republicans have raised about her health and said that she has fully recovered from a concussion suffered in late 2012.
GOP strategist Karl Rove sparked controversy recently by suggesting that Clinton might have a long-term "traumatic brain injury" due to the concussion and a blood clot near her brain, which Clinton suffered when she fainted and hit her head while recovering from a virus.
Clinton loyalists have blasted the insinuation and pointed to her hectic, not-yet-a-presidential-campaign schedule; her husband, Bill, laughed off Rove’s comments by claiming that the Republican was trying to cast her in the "Walking Dead."
In a glossy six-page spread in People, Clinton said the concussion prevented her from doing everything she wanted to do at the end of her tenure as secretary of State. But she said she was glad to be able, after a delay, to testify to Congress about the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya: "I was able to do that. That was the most important thing to me."
Clinton reiterated that she has had no lingering effects from her fall. "I did have a concussion and some effects in the aftermath, mostly dizziness, double vision,” she said. “Those all dissipated." She remains on blood thinners as a guard against another clot.
Clinton said she discussed the concussion with U.S. Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), an avid athlete and another potential presidential candidate in 2016, at President Obama’s second inauguration.
Ryan told her he had had at least three concussions, including one that was "really serious" when he was younger. His mother, he told Clinton, made him rest until he was well.
"We haven't until recently taken this issue seriously for athletes, soldiers, accident victims," she said.
"People have basically been told to shake it off. I could've shaken it off, but at what cost?" she continued. "I rested and went back to work after the first of the year. I'm really conscious of how other people don't get that care."
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