Clinton: Allergy Led To My Situation Room Photo - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Clinton: Allergy Led To My Situation Room Photo

MSNBC.COM - An allergy and not anguish may explain why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had her hand to her mouth while watching the commando operation to kill Osama bin Laden, she said on Thursday.

A photo of Clinton, President Barack Obama and other senior officials watching the operation live from the White House situation room has become one of the most striking images of the raid that killed the al-Qaida leader.

The photo shows Clinton with her hand to her mouth in what looks like a gesture of anxiety over the outcome of the operation.

"Those were 38 of the most intense minutes. I have no idea what any of us were looking at that particular millisecond when the picture was taken," she said on Thursday when asked about the photo during a visit to Rome.

"I am somewhat sheepishly concerned that it was my preventing one of my early spring allergic coughs. So it may have no great meaning whatsoever," Clinton added.

According to the National Allergy Bureau, the Washington, D.C. area -- considered one of the toughest areas in the country for spring allergy sufferers -- is currently experiencing a high pollen count, particularly from oak, hickory and walnut trees. About 35 million Americans have seasonal allergies, or hay fever, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation reports.

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