A viral report is claiming that Dr. Daniel Fleck was found dead just hours after he released Hillary Clinton’s secret medical records showing that the Democratic candidate is suffering from frequent seizures and advancing dementia.
The reports have circulated across conspiracy theory sites and far-right news organizations, and taken off on Twitter, part of a series of reports claiming that Clinton is secretly in failing health.
But like the series of previous reports connecting Hillary Clinton to the mysterious deaths of those who oppose her, the report that Dr. Daniel Fleck was found dead has no basis in reality.
The report originates from a conspiracy theory blog called WhatDoesItMean.com, which claimed that Fleck is the father of Dr. Lisa Bardack, Hillary Clinton’s actual doctor. In July, Bardack published a health report affirming that Clinton is in good health and is fit to assume the presidency should she be elected.
But the conspiracy theory report from WhatDoesItMean.com claimed that a Russian intelligence service found that Dr. Daniel Fleck was found dead after releasing the “real” report on Clinton’s health, which had drastically different findings.
“The Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) is reporting today that the continuing to grow list of mysterious deaths surrounding U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has increased after the father of the doctor treating her for dementia suddenly died this past weekend — and who is believed to have been behind the leaking of her most secret medical records.”
It turns out that almost none of the report is true, however. Snopes contacted a colleague of Dr. Daniel Fleck who confirmed that “the physician was alive and well.”
The reports of Hillary Clinton’s allegedly ill health appear to be fabricated as well. They were first published through the Twitter account @HillsMedRecords, but quickly deleted. Still, the alleged medical documents found a life on Twitter, including a re-tweet from a Donald Trump impersonator.
The medical records were dismissed as forgeries, however, with critics noting that they looked nothing like the official letterhead that Bardack released on her assessment of Clinton’s health.
The report claiming that Dr. Daniel Fleck was found dead shortly after releasing Hillary Clinton’s medical records is not the first time that a conspiracy theory has tried to pin a mysterious death on the Democratic candidate. Within the past few weeks, a number of report have claimed that Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was murdered just before planning to speak out against election fraud committed on Clinton’s behalf — or possibly that he was murdered in retribution for leaking DNC emails. Rich had been shot to death while walking in his Washington, D.C., neighborhood at close to 4 a.m. on July 10.
That speculation went into overdrive this week when WikiLeaks, the organization that released the emails, offered a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of whoever killed Rich. Days later, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared to insinuate that Seth Rich was an anonymous source for the organization.
But Rich’s parents have said they agree with the assessment of police that he was killed in a robbery gone wrong, and even issued a public statement this week calling on people to stop politicizing his death with baseless conspiracy theories.
“That said, some are attempting to politicize this horrible tragedy, and in their attempts to do so, are actually causing more harm that good and impeding on the ability for law enforcement to properly do their job,” said spokesman Brad Bauman via Business Insider. “For the sake of finding Seth’s killer, and for the sake of giving the family the space they need at this terrible time, they are asking for the public to refrain from pushing unproven and harmful theories about Seth’s murder.”
What's weirdest about the BS Clinton health stories on the right is...why? What's the political benefit? https://t.co/STq2n8yMC4— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) August 12, 2016
Despite the apparently debunked report that Dr. Daniel Fleck was found dead hours after releasing Hillary Clinton’s secret medical records, the story still appears to have legs and continues to get coverage from a number of websites and shares on social media.
[Photo by David Calvert/Getty Images]