On Friday, White House doctors released the results of President Donald Trump’s physical. They concluded that Trump is in “very good health overall,” but could afford to lose some weight.
But missing from the assessment was any information about Trump’s mental health. Yale psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee, who edited “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” thinks the president suffers from mental problems that present a far bigger danger than his cholesterol levels.
Raw Story spoke with Lee about the president’s psychological problems and what should be done about it.
Tana Ganeva: What do you think of the president’s health care results?
Bandy X. Lee: What is staggering are the omissions. It is almost as if the White House doctor took an “It won’t exist if we don’t look” attitude. The most pressing questions, in my mind, are: Is the president capable of protecting the interests of the United States? Is he capable of keeping the country safe without placing it in further danger? Is he capable of discharging the duties of his office?
These are not comfortable questions to ask, but there cannot be a more urgent matter; any other consideration is of far lower priority. These questions have become more medical than political because of the severity of his signs of impairment.
When it becomes obvious that the president is incapable of making political decisions because he lacks the capacity to make rational decisions altogether, he should be tested medically.
Tana Ganeva: But the President’s apparent irrationality is being ignored?
Bandy X. Lee: This issue has been completely ignored. My Yale colleague of internal medicine Dr. Anna Reisman stated that one would “not need to see” the results of the president’s exam, as they will likely be false reassurances.
Medical ethicist Dr. Arthur Caplan of NYU School of Medicine said he “won’t be listening” to the outcome. It is unfortunate that so many have come to view the release of information as being less informative than no release at all.
The theatrical nature is observable in other ways. For instance, why were there “11 Board certified specialists”? All we have called for was a functional, mental capacity evaluation; this takes only one specialist, that is, an independent, forensic mental health professional.
The second most important specialist might be a cardiologist, but whether or not Mr. Trump consults one is his private affair, since he is not posing an imminent danger to the public because of a cardiac condition. He is, however, already posing a danger to the public, as objective reports and empirical evidence confirm, because of the multiple and consistent signs of emotional instability, cognitive decline, and violence-proneness. That there is some unseen logic that outweighs the harm—or that Mr. Trump is even capable of it—would only be proven in an exam, and the onus should now be on the president.
Tana Ganeva: The president is not likely to seek mental health care.
Bandy X. Lee: We know that those who need mental health care the most are the least likely to submit to proper evaluation and treatment. Mr. Trump’s reappointment of Dr. Ronny Jackson, who declared him “mentally fit to serve” last year despite lacking the training or the independence to do so, therefore, stands out as a warning signal if not a symptom.
Those who have awaited Mr. Trump’s annual exam for clarification on the false “mental health exam” a year ago, which was neither replaced nor redone after Dr. Jackson himself was removed from his position as the president’s personal physician, will be rightly disappointed. As a reminder, Dr. Jackson, in response to the public’s concerns over the president’s mental stability, performed a sham 10-minute dementia screen on which full-blown Alzheimer patients and hospitalized schizophrenia patients are known to score up to 30 out of 30.
Fitness for duty, in any case, is determined not through a personal health exam but through an independent functional test that evaluates a person’s ability to do a job and not to put others in danger.
Tana Ganeva: You’ve officially recommended that President Trump be tested for mental fitness. What did that look like?
Bandy X. Lee: The World Mental Health Coalition’s working group on an expert panel for presidential fitness created an ad hoc committee for dangerousness because of presidential incapacity last year, and we sent a letter to all members of Congress before Mr. Trump’s nomination of a Supreme Court justice and his Helsinki conference with Vladimir Putin.
Our recommendation was for him to undergo testing before he embarked on any more critical decisions, given the serious signs of mental incapacity that he had shown. We know the outcomes of the controversial Supreme Court justice nominee at the time (who himself exhibited many signs of impairment) and the very bizarre Helsinki conference, where Mr. Trump sided with a nation that attacked us against our country’s own intelligence officials.
Yesterday, the ad hoc committee issued another letter of warning to all Congress members addressing the president’s need to demonstrate mental capacity before making additional critical decisions such as declaring a national emergency. As of today, he has done so against all advice and despite the absence of any evidence of an emergency.
Tana Ganeva: What other acts by the president made you worried?
Bandy X. Lee: He has created many emergencies. As of February 1, 2019, he has withdrawn the U.S. from a long-standing nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, reversing course from decades of arms control diplomacy and setting the stage for a new nuclear arms race. Meanwhile, other nuclear powers, such as North Korea, Pakistan, and India, are following suit. Despite this initiation, Mr. Trump stated that he believes he had “no choice” but to withdraw, and would rather “outspend and out-innovate all others” in the production of weapons of mass destruction. As expected, Russian President Putin vowed to do the same. This is precisely what numerous mental health professionals have warned against, in underscoring Mr. Trump’s “psychological attraction” to nuclear weapons and nuclear war, especially in the public-service book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.
Tana Ganeva: What’s your overall message about the president’s ability to lead?
Bandy X. Lee: Mental health is inseparable from overall health. The absence of the typical degenerative diseases of old age is not only a sign of good health if we consider the larger context. In my twenty years of treating violent offenders, I have often seen arrested emotional development have the side effect of unexpectedly lower levels of the typical adult diseases stemming from the stress of being responsible for and worrying about others, the larger society, or the world.
These individuals may more often be in a wheelchair or walk with a cane by age thirty, or suffer from head trauma-induced dementia, than be plagued of the typical cardiac or cerebrovascular problems that afflict older individuals. The condition Mr. Trump does have—obesity—is a well-known adult consequence of childhood emotional trauma, precisely the kind that can lead to arrested development. Physical signs of dangerous individuals are not well studied, but we know that they often have oddities in speech (I have especially found a difficulty in pronouncing “s” in ways that are unrelated to mechanical problems) and excessive hand gestures that compensate for poor speech. These are both observed in the president but are unlikely to be picked up by a physician performing a limited physical exam.
The signs are numerous, and we recognize the pattern very well. It is time that the president undergo proper testing and be offered proper care, rather than further enable his pathology.
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Watch: Schumer Compares McConnell to Southern Segregationists for Blocking Voting Rights
On Tuesday, following Senate Republicans’ lockstep vote to block debate on voting rights, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gave a thunderous speech comparing Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to the southern segregationists who fought the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
“Republican state legislatures across the country are engaged in the most sweeping voter suppression in 80 years,” said Schumer. “Capitalizing on and catalogued by Donald Trump’s big lie. These state governments are making it harder for younger, poorer, urban and non-white Americans to vote. Earlier today, the Republican leader told reporters that, quote, ‘Regardless of what may be happening in some states, there is no rationale for federal intervention.’ The Republican leader flatly stated that no matter what the states do to undermine our democracy — voter suppression laws, phony audits, partisan takeovers of local election boards — the Senate should not act.”
“The Republican leader uses the language and the logic of the southern senators in the ’60s who defended states rights, and it is an indefensible position for any senator, any senator, let alone the minority leader to hold,” said Schumer. “When John Lewis was about to cross that bridge in Selma, he didn’t know what waited for him on the other side. He didn’t know how long his march would be. And his ultimate success was never guaranteed. But he started down that bridge anyway. Today Democrats started our march to defend the voting rights of all Americans. It could be a long march, but it is one we are going to make.”
GOP Senators Orchestrate ‘Blockade’ of Key Biden Agenda Bills: Voting Rights Bill Killed, Infrastructure in Doubt
Republicans Tuesday evening killed debate on the For the People Act, a key component of Democrats’ agenda to protect democracy, expand and strengthen voting rights, and reduce the influence of dark money in elections. As Senators were voting on the motion to begin debate on the bill, news broke that the GOP Whip, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota had announced another critical piece of Democratic legislation, the infrastructure bill, was even further in doubt.
GOP Senators appeared to be orchestrating a complete and total shutdown of key legislation critical to President Joe Biden’s progressive agenda.
Democratic Majority Leader Schumer immediately denounced Republicans’ “blockade.”
Sen. Thune also said Republicans would oppose a slimmed down version of a voting rights bill:
Thune contradicts Blunt when asked just now if GOP leadership would come out against narrower measures like the VRA: “I suspect yes.”
“It just replaces a state’s sovereignty with the federal government, and that’s a bridge I don’t think our members are willing to cross.” https://t.co/mmVduM5fPH
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) June 22, 2021
60 votes were required to begin debate on the voting rights bill. The motion failed in a 50-50 vote. As voting was taking place GOP Minority Leader Mitch mcConnell could be seen huddling with other top Republican Senators including John Cornyn of Texas and John Kennedy of Louisiana.
The only option to pass the bill now would be for a simple majority of Senators agree to kill the 60-vote filibuster. Some are supporting a modification to 55 votes. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona had steadfastly refused to support killing the filibuster.
“This is a dark day in this country,” Al Sharpton said on MSNBC.
“This is a dark day for Republicans,” host Nicolle Wallace replied. “Republicans won’t just walk over norms, they will burn them down,” she told host Ari Melber during the handoff.
Voting rights expert Ari Berman weighed in, chastising the GOP:
Vote on For the People Act isn’t on legislation itself, but whether to start debate on the bill. Republicans are so afraid of democracy they won’t even allow a debate on how to fix it
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) June 22, 2021
‘Monster’: Internet Makes #AbbottHatesDogs Trend After Texas Governor Vetos Bipartisan Anti-Cruelty Bill
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is under fire for vetoing the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, bipartisan legislation to protect dogs by making it illegal to tie them up with heavy chains outdoors, or leave them without water or shade. He criticized the bill as “micro-managing and over-criminalization.”
The legislation “would have expanded and clarified the state’s animal cruelty laws,” and “had the support of animal control officers, law enforcement agencies and organizations, county prosecutors, and advocates for animals, and it passed 28-3 in the Senate and 83-32 in the House,” as The Week reports.
Abbott increasingly has been in the national news, amid speculation he might run for the White House in 2024. He is also facing a possible primary from the right. As #AbbottHatesDogs trended on social media the Texas Republican governor posted a clip of his two dogs. It did not seem to help.
Peaches and Pancake ready to play.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 22, 2021
Vetoing legislation to protect dogs does not seem to have helped his future prospects, as many social media users appear to think, but it did help former U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s fortunes as people started to post #BetoLovesDogs tweets.
I have to hand it to the governor. “Anti-voting rights, pro-animal cruelty” is a bold re-election message. pic.twitter.com/bw6JoqC1U2
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) June 22, 2021
Beto would never veto a dog cruelty bill.#AbbottHatesDogs
— Jake Lobin (@JakeLobin) June 22, 2021
What kind of monster is against protecting dogs? https://t.co/S4nsPYLaYG
— Aki Peritz (@AkiPeritz) June 22, 2021
Greg Abbott wants Texas to be the state where you freeze in the winter, roast in the summer, can chain up a dog with no shelter or water and force a 13 year old rape and incest victim to give birth to her grandfather’s baby.
— thearticles7777 (@thearticles7777) June 22, 2021
Nice try. You’re so obviously trying to play down the hate dog message you’ve sent.
— Bry (@irebry) June 22, 2021
Nice that they can play. Unlike the countless dogs who are chained up without food, shelter, or water in your state who you chose to keep in those conditions for no fucking reason.
Go fuck yourself, you dick jiggling toadstool. You don’t deserve dogs.
— Stefanie Williams (@StefWilliams25) June 22, 2021
“Texans don’t need that kind of micromanagement” is a hell of a statement considering the bills he did sign…
— Amanda Miller (@mrsmillerbio) June 22, 2021
While it sounds incomprehensible at first, this does make sense when you consider the fact that Gov Abbott doesn’t feel like humans should have drinkable water or adequate shelter either.
— cogito, ergo bibo. (@TheDillon13) June 22, 2021
This was one of 18 dogs chained up in a yard, & he was too scared to go near anyone. Nephew Dylan coaxed him out of his hiding place so a rescue group could take him to a cozier home.
Dogs know who the good people are. #AbbottHatesDogs pic.twitter.com/mFnsezsdym
— Lynne Kelly 🐘🐳 (@LynneKelly) June 22, 2021
— Nikki Smith (@kennahgramma) June 22, 2021
— Witch Queen of Angmar | ♿️🏳️🌈 (@themadkatter1) June 22, 2021
— Kelly ツ (@kellwoohoo) June 22, 2021
Governor Abbott vetos cruelty to animals bill, cares less about dogs, cares less about his freezing citizens in the winter or sweltering citizens in the summer and only thinks about using their tax money to pay for a wall, to please Trump.#AbbottHatesDogs pic.twitter.com/rTIymiGicg
— Rick Ocean 🇺🇲🇳🇴 #Resister (@RickOceanMusic) June 22, 2021
— Kelly ツ (@kellwoohoo) June 22, 2021
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