A Yale psychiatrist who has tried to sound the alarm on Donald Trump’s mental health is now calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to request a 72-hour mental health hold on the president after his attack that killed a top Iranian military leader.
Bandy X. Lee is a professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and has led a group of mental health professionals speaking out against Trump’s behavior and decision-making in the past. Lee has held a conference at Yale about the president’s mental health and edited a book of 27 mental health professionals who warned about the “dangerous case” of Trump’s abilities to execute the job of president.
Lee is now calling for drastic action after the deadly attack against Iran. In an interview with Salon, the Yale professor said that the drone killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani is a major cause for concern, and she called on Pelosi to take action against Trump.
“This is exactly the kind of dangerous event we foresaw as Donald Trump’s response to the impeachment proceedings, just as his pulling troops from northern Syria was a direct response to the announcement of an impeachment inquiry,” Lee said. “This was why more than 800 mental health professionals petitioned Congress to consult with us, since, without intervention, this kind of crisis was a matter of time, not just a possibility.”
Lee added that the attack against Iran is exactly what someone who “lacks mental capacity” would do. She said that Trump is drawn to actions that make it appear he has the proper mental capacity to be president, including what she called a “presidential strike” against an enemy. But she noted that Trump also avoided the proper procedures for such an attack, such as briefing Congress.
“What we do not expect from someone who lacks mental capacity is rational, reality-based decision making that is non-impulsive, non-reckless, and cognizant of consequences,” Lee said.
Lee also noted that Trump appeared to have predicted the use of an attack against Iran, frequently claiming that President Barack Obama would start a war with Iran to help him win re-election and to help what Trump saw as sinking approval ratings for Obama. Trump has faced similar criticism from others, including former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, who said that while Soleimani was a ruthless leader and that the United States is better for him being killed, Trump’s decision to attack was impulsive and sure to lead to wider conflict that will endanger American lives.