GREENSBORO, N.C., Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Hillary Clinton returned to the campaign four days after it was announced she'd been diagnosed with pneumonia, telling voters in North Carolina that not everyone is as lucky as she is to be able to afford to take time off of work.
"People like me, we're lucky. When I'm under the weather I can afford to take a few days off. Millions of Americans can't. They either go to work sick or they lose a paycheck, don't they?" Clinton said. "Lots of Americans don't have insurance or they do, but it's too expensive to use. They toss back some Tylenol, chug some orange juice and hope it goes away on its own."
Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday, but only disclosed the illness Sunday after she was forced to leave a Sept. 11 memorial service early and was recorded stumbling and requiring the assistance of Secret Service agents to get into her waiting motorcade. She later admitted she ignored the advice of her doctor to take time off over the weekend, then remained at home and off the campaign trail from Monday to Wednesday.
While in North Carolina, a state emerging as a crucial battleground in November's election, she was critical of a law enacted prohibiting transgender individuals from using the bathroom of their gender identity. The law has come under intense criticism, leading to high-profile boycotts by businesses and entertainers who have canceled events in the state to protest the law.
The most recent hits home for many North Carolinian sports fans, when the ACC announced its conference championship basketball tournament would be moved out of state despite its two marquee schools, Duke and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. And if the perennial basketball powerhouses advance to the NCAA men's basketball tournament, those games will not be played in the state either, with the NCAA announcing it is moving all its tournament games to other venues in protest.
Clinton said the transgender bathroom law is morally wrong and has the practical effect of driving business out of the state.
"I'm running for the LGBT teenager here in North Carolina who sees your governor sign a bill legalizing discrimination and suddenly feels like a second-class citizen," she told supporters in Greensboro. "And if anyone wonders what the costs of discrimination are just ask the people and businesses of North Carolina. Just look at what's happening with the NCAA and the ACC. This is where bigotry leads and we can't afford it. Not here, not any place in America."