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Hillary Clinton faints, has concussion

By Elise Labott, CNN
December 17, 2012 -- Updated 1458 GMT (2258 HKT)
Hillary Clinton is not expected to appear before next week's House committee hearing on Benghazi after suffering a concussion.
Hillary Clinton is not expected to appear before next week's House committee hearing on Benghazi after suffering a concussion.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The concussion as not severe, an official says
  • NEW: Rep. Ros-Lehtinen says it's "unfortunate" Clinton won't be testifying
  • The secretary had been suffering from a stomach virus
  • Clinton will work from home next week

Read a version of this story in Arabic.

Washington (CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sustained a concussion after becoming dehydrated and fainting, and will no longer testify Thursday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Clinton had been suffering from a stomach virus at the time, according to a statement on Saturday from Philippe Reines, deputy assistant secretary of state.

She is being monitored by doctors and is recovering at home. She was never hospitalized, Reines said.

"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," Reines said.

A senior State Department official added that the fainting occurred earlier in the week and the concussion was "not severe."

Source: Obama to tap Kerry to be secretary of state

Secretary Clinton had been scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill Thursday about the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, in September that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

Jodi Seth, spokeswoman for Democratic Sen. John Kerry, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, said in a statement that Clinton would not testify before that committee Thursday.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured in October 2012, has become one of the most powerful people in Washington. Here's a look at her life and career through the years. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured in October 2012, has become one of the most powerful people in Washington. Here's a look at her life and career through the years.
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
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Photos: Clinton\'s political career Photos: Clinton's political career

"Secretary Clinton's team contacted Senator Kerry this morning to inform them of the Secretary's concussion. Senator Kerry was relieved to hear that the Secretary is on the mend, but he insisted that given her condition, she could not and should not appear on Thursday as previously planned, and that the nation's best interests are served by the report and hearings proceeding as scheduled with senior officials appearing in her place," Seth said.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement it was "unfortunate" Clinton would not be testifying before her committee either on Thursday.

William Burns and Thomas Nides, both Deputy Secretaries of State, will testify before that committee instead.

"Although I respect Bill and Tom, we still don't have information from the Obama administration on what went so tragically wrong in Benghazi," Ros-Lehtinen said. "We have been combing classified and unclassified documents and have tough questions about State Department threat assessments and decision-making on Benghazi. This requires a public appearance by the Secretary of State herself."

The September 11, 2012, attack resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, and called into question the security of U.S. diplomatic personnel abroad.

CNN's Joe Sterling and Jamie Crawford contributed to this report.

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