Obama’s “fainting woman” is Karmel Allison, who was standing behind the president while he addressed the nation from the Rose Garden on Monday. The pregnant woman’s near faint drew more attention than Obama’s speech, but President Obama was quick to assist her as she almost fell over, reports the Huffington Post on Oct. 21.
Obama was speaking on widespread problems with his new health care rollout that went into effect on October 1. About 25 minutes in, Allison started to get a little wobbly, prompting the President to turn and assist her.
“I got you. You're OK,” Obama told her, making a joke about the length of his speech. “That's what happens when I talk too long.”
Allison was treated by the White House physician and said after: “I'm 20 weeks pregnant at this point and I hadn't had that much to drink that morning because I was worried about possibly needing to go to the bathroom during the speech. And as the sun hit me, I got a little lightheaded.”
The White House issued the following statement, not in response to her near-fainting, but prior to the President’s speech, describing the personal challenges Allison faces when it comes to medical coverage:
“Karmel Allison was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was nine years old. She has stayed on the same insurance ever since, despite constantly rising costs, for fear she would not be able to find a plan that would cover her due to her pre-existing condition. Allison recently began researching her options on CoveredCA and has publically described her experience as finally feeling equal to others, including her young and healthy husband, when it comes to access to coverage.”
Some have expressed sentiments that the whole thing was a ruse, suggesting it was a fake and that the administration “planted her” in order to drive home the point of her story. The Daily Mail carried some tweets of those who think the whole thing was a set-up.