Trump’s mental health might lead to the extinction of the human species, the Yale psychiatrist briefing lawmakers on the president’s psychological state told Newsweek on Friday. Many mental health experts have voiced concerns about Trump’s mental health for months.
Dr. Bandy Lee, who edited a book of 27 essays on the president’s mental status, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, said that,
“we would be declaring a public health emergency that needs to be responded to as quickly as possible.
As more time passes, we come closer to the greatest risk of danger, one that could even mean the extinction of the human species. This is not hyperbole. This is the reality.”
Lee said that a history of violence—like Trump’s is the best predictor of future violence, his
“verbal aggressiveness, history of boasting about sexual assault, history of inciting violence at his rallies, and history of endorsing violence in his key public speeches. He has also shown an attraction to violence and powerful weapons. He has also repeatedly taunted a hostile nation.“
In The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, noted linguist and activist Noam Chomsky shared his thoughts on Trump. He told a packed crowd at the anniversary of Democracy Now in Manhattan last December,
“[Dangers] We now face are the most severe that have ever arisen in human history. They are literal threats to survival: nuclear war, environmental catastrophe. These are very urgent concerns,” Chomsky said. “They cannot be delayed. They became more urgent on November 8th, for the reasons you know and that I mentioned. They have to be faced directly, and soon, if the human experiment is not to prove to be a disastrous failure.”
After a series of tweets from Trump that appeared to threaten North Korea with nuclear war, Lee and hundreds of her colleagues at the National Coalition of Concerned Mental Health Experts issued a statement calling into question his mental health and psychological fitness for the presidency. the president tweeted last Tuesday night,
“Would someone from [North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un’s] depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!“
There have been additional concerning signs oustide the president’s social media activity, she said, including the interview Trump did with New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt in late December. Trump’s speech patterns, Lee said, may illuminate the state of the president’s cognitive abilities.
“He cannot seem to finish sentences, he derails from his line of thinking, he has loose associations and he jumps from one topic or another. These things could indicate a psychiatric or medical condition.“
Trump also tweeted Saturday morning that,
“throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.“
Lee said that vehement denial is almost a sure sign of illness,
“Deflecting or projecting are often concerning signs. Usually, as someone becomes mentally impaired, they lose the ability to consider the possibility that something could be wrong.
That’s why forcible commitment is permitted—because it is their illness speaking, not their own healthy decision making.”
Discussions about Trump’s psychological fitness for the presidency almost invariably wind up involving the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, which lays out the presidential line of succession should the President die, resign, be temporarily unable to perform his duties or be removed from office. Alan Dershowitz, a former Harvard Law professor, told Politico that removing Trump from the presidency in this way
“would require, for mental incapacity, a major psychotic break.”
Congress could set up a committee to evaluate the president’s health. Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, has introduced a bill —which currently has 56 co-sponsors— that would set up a commission to determine if a president is physically and mentally able to serve. Leee said,
“It needs to happen as soon as possible.”
But also noted it was unlikely to be part of Trump’s physical exam, scheduled for January 12.
If the idea of Trump starting a species-ending nuclear war doesn’t make you all that concerned, don’t worry—that’s normal.
“Many people will be numbed. That’s a normal human response to such a monumental risk of danger that is before us.“
And for those of you who think it’s unseemly to openly question the mental health of the President of the United States, CNN‘s Jake Tapper has a tweet for you.
(Photo, Department of Energy, Flickr; via Newsweek, Progreso Weekly)