Letters To Congress

Here are our last communications to all members of the U.S. Congress:

Follow-Up Warning from the Ad Hoc Committee on Presidential Dangerousness

July 25, 2018

Dear Congress Member:

A group of top psychiatrists in the country, who have formed an Ad Hoc Committee on Presidential Dangerousness, faxed a letter to all members of Congress, on July 9, 2018, warning against the apparent lack of decisional capacity that President Donald Trump has exhibited. Because of his unchecked proximity to nuclear weapons and because of the geopolitical consequences of his decisions, we considered it an emergency warning which, under ordinary medical standards, would have warranted an urgent evaluation.

No doubt you will agree that the threat to national and international security has since increased. The U.S. President has:

  • Held a secret meeting with the leader of a nation that has attacked us
  • Refused to share the contents and agreements of that meeting
  • Sided publicly with the nation that has attacked us against his own intelligence agencies
  • Invited the instigator of those attacks to our nation’s capital
  • Made us (and other nations) more vulnerable to future attacks
  • Alienated our key protective allies against the instigator of these attacks
  • Dealt with North Korea in ways that have increased uncertainty for global security

As long as public health and safety are implicated, we must consider it a medical issue and within the domain of our professional responsibility. Public health has already been affected adversely under this administration, according to multiple objective measures.

In our letter from two weeks ago, we highlighted:

  • That the President has shown clear signs of lack of decisional capacity
  • That, despite his momentous position, he has never received a valid examination of these signs
  • That the current situation, with the signs that he exhibits, should preclude his partaking in any more consequential decisions.

Our assessment still holds, with even greater urgency, and we urge you once again to check his actions—especially the ultimate possibility of launching nuclear weapons or declaring a war—until the time that he could be cleared for mental capacity.

Sincerely,

Ad Hoc Committee on Presidential Dangerousness Because of Mental Instability

(Member names omitted on web version)


Warning from the Ad Hoc Committee on Presidential Dangerousness Because of Mental Instability

July 9, 2018

Dear Congress Member:

We write to you as mental health professionals who are deeply concerned about the mental state of President Donald Trump, which we believe presents a clear and present danger to the nation and the world. We say so because of his compromised mental state and his unchecked proximity to weapons of mass destruction, as well as other powers at his disposal.

Early in his presidency we put our concerns into the book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. So far, all our predictions have borne out to be true. Furthermore, our clinical experience tells us that such conditions generally continue to worsen.

We state our concerns to you not as partisans or out of political interest, but as professionals who have an obligation to society to share our knowledge of medical matters. We have taken a pledge to protect lives and to place humanitarian goals first. From our professional perspective, the president has not demonstrated that he has the mental capacity to perform the duties of his office. On the contrary, he has continuously and persistently shown signs that he lacks decisional capacity.

For example, he proceeded to attend a summit with North Korea unprepared and unaware of his deficiencies. Earlier in the year, after a series of unpleasant news, he decided without consultation to launch a trade war.

When the president repeatedly states falsehoods that contradict not only facts but his own words, he is jeopardizing public health and the security of the globe. Whether he is divorced from reality or simply lies with impunity, either case indicates psychopathology. When he shows an attraction to violence and a readiness to attack, he is endangering those he is in office to protect. This drive, we believe, is behind his championing the cruel separation of children from their families, as well as his repetitive sparring with an unstable nuclear power, including during the lead-up to a peace summit. Now he is about to appoint a Supreme Court justice and meet with the leader of an enemy nation who attacked our 2016 elections. These are all consequential decisions.

The president has never received a valid exam: the mental health “evaluation” he had in January was faulty, and the doctor who administered it was disqualified, while the exam was not re-done. Until he undergoes proper examination, we cannot be sure that Trump has the capacity to make sound, logical decisions while weighing real consequences to real people, or even that he perceives a reality apart from his own thoughts, emotions, and needs. The current situation, with the signs that he exhibits, should preclude his partaking in any more consequential decisions.

In our ordinary practice, we attempt to contain individuals who show signs of danger, using the least restrictive measures. The president, however, has rather removed existing personnel and checks around him that would set even minimal limits. He has also shown a persistent disregard for and violation of norms and laws. These are signs of greater danger, not less.

In sum, Mr. Trump needs an urgent, independent evaluation first of his mental capacity, to ensure that he is fit to serve in his office, and secondly of his neuropsychiatric status, to yield any diagnoses and the proper course of treatment. Until then, he should not proceed with further substantive decision-making, until he can be cleared. If he does not agree to an evaluation voluntarily, we turn to you as protectors of the nation’s citizenry.

Sincerely,

Ad Hoc Committee on Presidential Dangerousness Because of Mental Instability

(Member names omitted on web version)


Statement on Trump by the National Coalition of Concerned Mental Health Experts

January 3, 2018

We write as mental health professionals who have been deeply concerned about Donald Trump’s psychological aberrations. We believe that he is now further unraveling in ways that contribute to his belligerent nuclear threats. We are aware that statements coming from North Korea contribute greatly to the problem, but our concern is with the behavior of our own President. We urge that those around him, and our elected representatives in general, take urgent steps to restrain his behavior and head off the potential nuclear catastrophe that endangers not only Korea and the United States but all of humankind.

Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div.

Judith L. Herman, M.D.

Robert Jay Lifton, M.D.

+322 Additional Co-Signatories