US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sustained a concussion last week after becoming extremely dehydrated and fainting while suffering from a stomach virus, the State Department said.
The 65-year-old Mrs Clinton is recovering at home and has been advised by her doctors to continue to rest and avoid strenuous activity and cancel all work events for the next week. She had been scheduled to testify before a pair of congressional panels looking into the September 11 attack against a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya.
Dr Lisa Bardack of the Mount Kisco Medical Group and Dr Gigi El-Bayoumi of George Washington University said that Mrs Clinton was suffering from a stomach virus and fainted after becoming extremely dehydrated.
Mrs Clinton was diagnosed with a concussion on Thursday after fainting at home earlier this week, according to a State Department official. The doctors did not determine it to be a “severe” concussion, the official said.
Mrs Clinton, who is expected to leave her job soon, skipped an overseas trip this past week because of the stomach virus, the State Department said.
President Barack Obama telephoned his top diplomat to wish her well, a White House official said.
The State Department said in a statement that Mrs Clinton will continue to work from home in the week ahead and looks forward to returning to the office “soon,” the statement said.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee said it won’t hear from Mrs Clinton as planned at a Thursday hearing into the attack at the outpost in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the US ambassador. The House Foreign Affairs Committee also said Mrs Clinton would no longer give scheduled testimony at its hearing Thursday on Libya.
Senior State Department officials William Burns and Thomas Nides are to take Mrs Clinton’s place at both hearings.
Mrs Clinton’s aides informed the Senate committee chairman, Senator John Kerry, about her health, and the Massachusetts Democrat “insisted that given her condition, she could not and should not appear” as planned, said Kerry spokeswoman Jodi Seth. Mr Obama is expected to nominate Mr Kerry to succeed Clinton.
Mrs Clinton backed out of a trip to North Africa and the Persian Gulf on Monday because she was sick. She caught the virus during a recent visit to Europe.
The former first lady is known for her gruelling travel schedule and is the most travelled secretary of state, having visited 112 countries while in the job.