‘He puts the world at risk’: Psychiatrists

U.S. President Donald Trump refers to amounts of temperature change as he announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A group of psychiatrists have taken to Congress with a letter commenting on President Donald Trump’s mental health. They think he poses a “clear and present danger to the world”.

In a letter addressed to members of both parties, experts wrote: “It no longer takes a psychiatrist to recognise the alarming patterns of impulsive, reckless, and narcissistic behaviour — regardless of diagnosis — that, in the person of President Trump, put the world at risk.”

Donald Trump’s recent outbursts regarding North Korea drew concerns from both Democrats and Republicans. “We now find ourselves in a clear and present danger, especially concerning North Korea and the President’s command of the US nuclear arsenal,” read the letter.

President Trump engaged in a war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in earlier this month. The centre of their riff was the island of Guam, which North Korea’s government threatened to nuke. It prompted the now infamous Trump “fire and fury” comment.

His grandiloquent Tuesday (22 August) rally in Phoenix, Arizona, did not appease his critics. There, an “unhinged” Trump as per usual heavily criticised the media and boasted about having accomplished more than any other president in his first six months in office. He also mentioned terminating NAFTA, the trilateral trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico.

Following the rally, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper told CNN:”I really question his… fitness to be in this office.” He described the US leader as a “complete intellectual, moral, and ethical void”.

Clapper was not alone doubting Donald Trump’s ability to lead. Following Trump’s contradictory comments on Charlottesville, a survey found that 55% of the US public thought he was unstable.

Back in April, Democrats, led by Jamie Raskin, representative for Maryland 8th congressional district, pushed to to set up an independent commission that would assess on any president physical or mental capacities. The panel would then oust any leader declared unfit to rule.

Two dozen representatives from both political families are now supporting the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity.

“We need every tool in the constitutional tool kit to be able to deal with the unfolding and accelerating crisis of presidential power in America today,” Raskin told USA today.

The Independent reported that one of the psychiatrists consulting on the Oversight Commission co-wrote the letter to Congress. Talking to USA Today, Yale University forensic psychiatrist, Dr Brandy Lee, warned about Trump’s “dangerousness”.

On 23 August, The New Yorker questioned whether the Trump era would prompted the end of the Goldwater rule, which was created to prevent psychiatrist to turn their expertise into political discourse. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recently expanded the rule to prevent both the sharing of professional diagnosis and any opinions on public figures’ behaviour.

Writing for USA Today, Dr Frances Allen warned against using psychiatric diagnoses to try and impeach Trump. She deemed it: “More psychological name-calling than a serious step in reducing the real risks of this Trump presidency.” She also pointed out that linking the US president to any mental disorder would just further stigmatise the people who suffer from such illnesses and would fail “helping us control” Trump. – IBTimes

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