By Jill Dougherty
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was discharged from a New York hospital on Wednesday, three days after she was admitted for treatment of a blood clot in a vein between her skull and brain, the State Department announced.
"Her medical team advised her that she is making good progress on all fronts, and they are confident she will make a full recovery," Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said in a statement announcing her release.
Clinton walked out of New York Presbyterian Hospital accompanied by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and daughter, Chelsea, for a brief period Wednesday afternoon. She had been admitted Sunday, after doctors found the clot during a medical test related to a concussion she suffered in December.
The secretary is being treated with blood thinners to dissolve the clot, which has not resulted in a stroke or any neurological damage. Doctors expect her to make a full recovery.
The good news came at the end of a confusing day in which Clinton was photographed by new crews waiting outside the hospital as she emerged in the early afternoon in an overcoat and wearing sunglasses, accompanied by her family and what appeared to be a doctor. They entered a van and drove off.
There was speculation that she had been discharged from the hospital but, for several hours, the State Department made no official comment on the video, although there were indications that she had not been released but was being moved to another part of the hospital, possibly for further testing.
Clinton has previously indicated that she plans to retire at the end of her term as Secretary of State but would be willing to remain for a while to provide a smooth transition for her presumed successor, Senator John Kerry, President Barack Obama’s choice as next Secretary of State.
Earlier, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters that Clinton was in communication with aides and there was nothing new on her condition or treatment.
Clinton "has been quite active on the phone with all of us, but she also made some calls on Saturday to a couple of foreign officials," Nuland said.
Those official calls came before the blood clot was disclosed on Sunday. The first, to the Joint Special Envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, lasted a half hour. The second was to the Prime Minister of Qatar, who is also the foreign minister.
"She has begun to pick up her regular phone contact with some of her counterparts," Nuland added.
Clinton, 65, has not been publicly seen or heard from in more than three weeks since falling ill with severe stomach flu and a subsequent concussion that occurred when she fainted because of dehydration, officials said.
Questions also have been raised as to why there was almost a day's delay in explaining the precise location of the clot and why she was administered an MRI, which revealed the problem.
Nuland said officials have been "extremely forthcoming" about Clinton's health.
"We will continue to keep you updated as we have new information to share, as we've been doing all along," Nuland said. "I think that was eighth statement in some three weeks so please bear with us."
Asked how Clinton's illness might affect her plans to testify on Capitol Hill about the deadly September terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Nuland did not directly say whether Clinton would appear.
"She has said that she is open to going up to the Hill. We are working with them now on their schedule because there's also a question of when they are going to be in and we will let you know when we have something to share," Nuland said.
Clinton, a former first lady, New York senator and presidential candidate, does not plan to stay on for President Barack Obama's second term, but prefers to remain until her replacement is in place.
Some senators have said they would delay confirmation hearings for her proposed successor, Sen. John Kerry, until Clinton has testified on the Libya attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.