Presidential Health Scares: Remember When George H.W. Bush Puked On The Japanese PM? Five Times The Worst Happened [Video]

On Sunday, Hillary Clinton suffered from the ill-effects of pneumonia in a very public way; in doing so, she became the latest in a long list of presidents and presidential candidates who’ve suffered presidential heath scares. While Mrs. Clinton isn’t POTUS yet, she’s still a high-profile politician a stone’s throw away from the White House, not to mention one who’s lived there before. As much as modern Republicans might like to pretend otherwise, presidential health scares are commonplace in American politics.

Hillary Clinton isn’t the first presidential type to suffer a health scare, even a public one. She is the first female to do so, however, something that might explain the public’s overreaction to a little pneumonia on the campaign trail.

Check out this list of presidential health scares to help remind you that what happened to Hillary on September 11 was far from unique. Or even disqualifying.

Richard Nixon Gets A Staph Infection

Once upon a time, Richard Nixon got a staph infection behind his knee. While this is still tallied among presidential health scares, reports the New York Times, there was something about the 1960 Nixon illness that paralleled Hillary Clinton’s Sunday situation.

Namely, at the time that Richard Nixon fell ill, he wasn’t yet POTUS. As far as presidential health scares go, this is yet one more that happened to a presidential candidate.

In Richard Nixon’s case, he would go on to win the election. Despite being bedridden in the hospital and off the campaign trail for two full weeks.

Sickly Franklin Delano Roosevelt Wins Fourth Presidential Term Months Before Death

One of the nation’s most beloved presidents was FDR. However, despite his exalted status, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the king of presidential health scares. When he ran for his fourth presidential term in 1944, The Washington Post reveals that he was sicker than a dog, his health obviously failing in the plain view of anyone paying attention.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidential health scares had a striking similarity to those of Hillary Clinton in the sense that they were covered up, and deliberately. The reason? To ensure another White House win. Like Donald Trump, FDR’s final political opponent seized on FDR’s presidential health scares in an effort to sway the vote in his direction. He even referred to Roosevelt as one of the “tired old men” who’d lived in the White House (sound familiar?).

It has even recently been reported that a doctor who examined FDR before his final presidential term wrote a memo clearly expressing that the POTUS would never survive another term. That memo wasn’t made public until 2011. Despite his presidential health scares, FDR went on to win his final presidential campaign. He died a few months later. And even though his final term was plagued by presidential health scares, he is one of the most beloved and revered presidents in U.S. history to this day.

Eisenhower’s Covered-Up Heart Attack

President Eisenhower had a very well-documented heart attack in 1955, keeping him from his post for 45 days during the Cold War. However, well before that incident, Eisenhower had another of the most covered up presidential health scares in U.S. history.

Indeed, at the time of Eisenhower’s first heart attack, which happened well before the 1955 incident that took America by surprise, the press was told something else entirely. During Eisenhower’s significant presidential health scare, the media was told only that he suffered a “digestive upset during the night.”

Like FDR, President Ike Eisenhower was one of the most touted presidents in U.S. history.

JFK’s Secret Addison’s Disease

John F. Kennedy was arguably the most enigmatic U.S. president in modern history. Despite his assassination, he was both well-loved and well liked by the majority of the American population. After all, they voted him in. Nonetheless, he faced some serious presidential health scares, health scares that were deliberately hidden from the public. Both during his campaign and during his presidency.

The source of JFK’s presidential health scare was a known diagnosis, at least to the then-president. He suffered from Addison’s disease. His disease required the administration of multiple drugs to manage, including steroids, all of which were taken in secret. Even when directly confronted by a presidential opponent and the press in the 1960 election, soon-to-be-POTUS dodged the issue.

“During the 1960 campaign, Kennedy’s opponents said he had Addison’s. His physicians released a cleverly worded statement saying that he did not have Addison’s disease caused by tuberculosis, and the matter was dropped. Kennedy collapsed twice because of the disease: once at the end of a parade during an election campaign and once on a congressional visit to Britain.”

Indeed, John F. Kennedy not only had Addison’s disease, he misled the media and public about his diagnosis. But he was an awesome president who won the 1960 election in spite of his presidential health scares.

George H.W. Bush Pukes On The Japanese Prime Minister, Then Passes Out

In the world of modern presidential health scares, what happened to George H. W. Bush when he tried to push through his illness (much like Hillary Clinton did) takes the cake and tops the list of presidential health scares.

The Bush presidential health scare was also one of the grossest ever caught on camera, and the 1992 incident also has the distinction of being the only known time a sitting U.S. president has vomited on a foreign leader.

At the time, George H.W. Bush was sitting next to Japan’s Kiichi Miyazawa. The sitting POTUS got abruptly ill, vomited on Miyazawa and passed out immediately thereafter. The Secret Service had to revive him.

So you see, while Hillary Clinton is getting all of the media’s attention following her pneumonia scare on Sunday, the truth of the matter is that presidential health scares are par for the course of the U.S. presidency. So is covering them up. In most cases, presidential health scares don’t prevent a politician from being a successful president, nor do they prevent a candidate from being elected.

[Image via A Katz/Shutterstock]

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