Psychiatrist who spoke with lawmakers pens op-ed on Trump mental health

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The psychiatrist who briefed lawmakers about President Trump’s mental health argued in a new op-ed that experts need to weigh in on the president’s mental fitness to serve.

Bandy X. Lee wrote in an op-ed for USA Today, with former Obama administration ethics head Norman Eisen, that mental health experts who felt it necessary to start conversations around Trump’s mental fitness “have been chastised by those who wish to silence them.”

{mosads}The pair argued that after Trump requested his physician perform a cognitive test during his annual physical, “those professionals’ voices are needed in the public discourse more than ever.”

“When psychiatric professionals see signs of danger and alert the public about the need for a full evaluation of a government official, that is not ‘armchair psychiatry.’ It is, instead, a call for a responsible, thorough and accurate assessment that prevents irresponsible conclusions,” they wrote.

The pair said the test Trump received — the Montreal Cognitive Assessment — was too limited and that additional testing was needed.

“It does not even touch the psychological side, where urgent concerns also lie and an assessment should have been done starting with a full history and standardized battery of testing. Experts have, furthermore, been calling for a capacity evaluation to determine Trump’s ability to function in his position, regardless of diagnosis,” they wrote.

“Warning about signs of mental disorder in an individual whose decisions could have dangerous public health consequences, and alerting people about what they need to know to further their safety, is a public duty. It is also a public service to point out omissions of information,” the pair wrote. “If there is disagreement about these issues, the solution is not to shut down the debate, or to bar expert voices from contributing to it.”

Questions around Trump’s mental fitness grew louder after Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” was released.

Trump denied any issues with his mental health, calling himself “a very stable genius,” but requested that his physician conduct a cognitive test during his annual physical.

Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, told reporters Tuesday that Trump had requested, and passed, the cognitive exam.

Trump touted his score in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, suggesting he scored higher than past presidents on the exam.

“I guess they all realized they were going to have to leave it to a president that scored the highest on tests,” Trump said about America’s relationship with North Korea.

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Ethics in psychiatry Mental health Neuroscience Psychiatric diagnosis Psychiatry Psychology
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