Donald Trump is no stranger to making controversial comments which are not supported by any factual evidence. But it is his comments during a recent meeting with the secretary-general of NATO that has psychiatrists worried about his “cognitive decline,” according to Yahoo News.
During the meeting, Trump railed about America’s European allies not paying enough for their own defense. Then, in what has been described as an effort to save face among Europeans, Trump suddenly went off tangent and claimed that his father was born in Germany.
“My father is German, right? Was German. And born in a very wonderful place in Germany, so I have a great feeling for Germany,” Trump claimed.
But Trump’s assertion cannot be further from the truth. Trump’s father, Frederick, was born in the Bronx. While this is not the first time that the president has made a “ridiculous” claim, the report noted, it is one of the first times that Trump has made an assertion which has no apparent use for him. So, why is Trump claiming that his father was born in Germany?
According to psychiatrists, Trump’s claim is a sign of his declining cognitive ability. The writer of the piece, Jerry Adler, even went on to speculate if Trump’s recent claim had something to do with the self-validation of his own birther theory about Barack Obama, which proposed that the previous president was not born in America.
“Is it just a coincidence that Trump, who got his start in national politics by peddling a conspiracy theory about his predecessor’s family and birthplace, and who constantly measures himself against him, repeatedly makes the same bizarre gaffe about where his own father was born?” Adler asked.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) April 6, 2019
Psychiatrists are worried as well. Clinical psychologists, who are not allowed to speculate on the mental health of a public figure from a distance thanks to the Goldwater Rule, organized a conference in Washington last month where they expressed their concern about the deteriorating mental health of Donald Trump.
“We are talking about the profound danger of the mentally unstable individual who holds the highest office in this country, and most powerful single office in the entire world,” Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University economist, said.
Bandy Lee, a psychiatrist on the faculty at the Yale School of Medicine, pointed to the list of ever-growing presidential gaffes to show that Trump was not in the right place.
“He is rapidly declining. His rallies have been increasingly less coherent, with greater signs of paranoid responses, increasing attraction to violence, increasing espousal of conspiracy theories,” Lee said in an interview recently, before going on to mention the “Tim Apple” episode, or Trump’s strange characterization of Apple’s chief, Tim Cook.
“A few weeks ago, there was the ‘Tim Apple’ episode, and the other day he referred to Venezuela as a company, while recently he confused his father’s birthplace with his grandfather’s. His mistakes are growing more and more bizarre. If we match the pattern of his deterioration against pathology, what disease states look like, we can say he is not well,” Lee concluded.