Hillary Clinton Concussion; How Will It Affect Her Job?

By iScienceTimes Staff on December 17, 2012 12:01 PM EST

Hillary Clinton
A concussion can impact focus, memory and mood. Three things that are pretty important if you're the Secretary of State. (Photo: Reuters)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suffered a concussion on Wednesday after fainting from a stomach virus. Hillary Clinton's concussion did not require her to be hospitalized, but she will be unable to testify at a Senate hearing on the Benghazi attacks scheduled for Thursday.  Doctors have ordered her to work from home all week so that she can recover completely from her concussion.

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"At their recommendation, she will continue to work from home next week, staying in regular contact with Department and other officials. She is looking forward to being back in the office soon," Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Phillip Reines said in a statement.

Hillary Clinton's concussion is likely affecting her ability to perform the difficult cognitive tasks associated with her job. According to WebMD, post-concussion syndrome includes headaches, dizziness and sleep problems as well as psychological issues such as depression and increased irritability. It is also possible that Hillary Clinton's concussion is affecting her memory, concentration and ability to focus.

Post-concussion syndrome is often at its most severe in the first two weeks following the concussion, and since Hillary Clinton's concussion happened Wednesday (and was not diagnosed until Thursday) it is understandable that she is not physically able to sit through what would likely be a grueling hearing on the Benghazi attacks.

Hillary Clinton's concussion also caused her to cancel a trip to Morocco scheduled for Tuesday where she was expected to formally recognize the Syrian opposition group as the official representative of the Syrian people. In her absence, President Obama recognized the group instead, lending the weight of diplomatic legitimacy to the rebel fighters.

Although Hillary Clinton's concussion may have left her unable to perform her duties as Secretary of State this week, it is unlikely that she will be absolved from testifying about Benghazi. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee said in a statement that Clinton herself needs to address the Benghazi issue and that the testimony of assistant Secretaries and deputies aren't enough.

"We have been combing classified and unclassified documents and have tough questions about State Department threat assessments and decision-making on Benghazi," she said. "This requires a public appearance by the Secretary of State herself."

Hillary Clinton's concussion, and the resulting post-concussion syndrome, are both serious injuries for anyone to endure, let alone a person with the arduous mental regiment of an international diplomat. Given the fact that it can several weeks or even months to fully recover from a concussion, Hillary Clinton could put herself at risk for a greater injury if she rushes her recovery due to political pressure.

So, will Hillary Clinton's concussion affect her job as Secretary of State? It already has. The real question is if her job will affect her recovery.

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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