Embattled former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli recently advanced a theory that has been gathering steam in certain corners of the Internet: Hillary Clinton is suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Shkreli — widely dubbed “the most hated man in America” after his company acquired an HIV drug and immediately raised its price from $13.50 to $750 per tablet last September — fanned the flames of what’s quickly become the #HillarysHealth movement at right-wing conspiracy site InfoWars.
According to Shkreli, photos and videos that supposedly reveal strange facial movements and walking difficulties on Clinton’s part are “pretty unmistakable signs of Parkinson’s disease.”
Clinton’s “freezing gait” and “inability to control her facial movements,” Shkreli notes, are a sure sign that the Democratic presidential nominee is suffering from Parkinson’s.
Moreover, Shkreli is just one of the latest and more high-profile voices joining the #HillarysHealth movement. The photos and videos on which Shkreli was commenting have been making the rounds on conservative sites like the Drudge Report and WorldNetDaily for nearly a week now.
Said photos and videos purport to reveal Clinton falling (in ways suggestive of severe health problems) having seizures, and walking accompanied by an aide carrying a syringe filled with anti-seizure medication (an assertion that Shrekli seconds). These claims and the resulting theorizing have been dismissed as “junk science” outside of the world of fringe conservative news sites.
Nevertheless, the spirit of the #HillarysHealth movement has found its way into larger-scale political discussion of late. Since this past weekend, the Trump campaign has been getting ample mileage out of Clinton’s recent admission that she “short-circuited” when answering questions about her email scandal.
At a New Hampshire rally on Saturday, Trump attacked Clinton, saying, “She took a short-circuit in the brain. She’s got problems. Honestly, I don’t think she’s all there.”
This comes at a time when the American Psychiatric Association — before so many pundits, academics, and journalists who have questioned Trump’s mental stability — has felt the need to issue a statement urging everyone to not attempt to diagnose people they haven’t met.