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Are Staff Hiding President Peres’ Poor Health?

Media workers say President Shimon Peres’ staff are hiding his ill health.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 12/5/2013, 12:49 PM

President Shimon Peres
President Shimon Peres
Flash 90

President Shimon Peres has continued to maintain his demanding schedule, including trips abroad, even after celebrating his 90th birthday this year.

However, sources in the media who spoke to Arutz Sheva said the situation may not be what it seems. Peres appears to be suffering ill health, they said, but his staff appears determined to conceal that fact.

As an example, they said, Peres felt ill during his recent visit to Mexico. The president suffered a severe feeling of weakness, and medical staff reportedly advised him to rest in his room. Peres was reportedly forced to leave a meeting in Russia as well due to illness.

Media sources say Peres’ staff were angered by public reports of his ill health.

His staff have denied the reports, and say Peres is in excellent health. The president underwent a routine medical exam just one month ago, they say, “and every finding was in normal range.”

Peres’ staff confirmed that the president felt ill while visiting Mexico, but blamed that on the altitude rather than poor health. Mexico City is 2,400 meters (7,870 feet) above sea level, and many visitors both need time to acclimate to the lower levels of oxygen in the air, they said.

“Because the President did not have the option of taking vacation days in Mexico City, he started work immediately after arriving. He felt unwell as did many others in the delegation, who felt dizzy and weak due to the low levels of oxygen in the air,” they said.

“Per a doctor’s orders, it was decided that the president would rest for a few hours, and immediately afterward would continue with his busy schedule as planned,” they continued. The only change in wake of Peres’ brief rest was that he met his Mexican counterpart in a different location than had been planned, they added.

They denied that Peres had felt unwell while visiting Russia or had left a meeting. “Each visit went very well, and went according to plan, with no deviation whatsoever from the schedule,” they declared.

They further denied having attempted to hide Peres’ brief illness in Mexico, as well as the allegations that staff had expressed upset when the news was published.

“The Presidents’ spokeswoman was the one who updated writers in Mexico, at her own initiative, regarding the fact that the President did not feel well and would need to rest. No writer was asked not to publish,” they said.