Yale psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee spoke with Salon in an interview published on Thursday in which she continued her long-running work of analyzing the mental state of Donald Trump and warning of the purported danger it poses to the U.S.
When pressed on Trump’s alleged approach to providing federal aid amid the coronavirus crisis, which is reportedly tied to how governors treat him, Lee claimed that Trump’s “mental capacity” is not sufficient for the position of president.
“We are seeing the comic absurdity up front, where a person’s emotional development is arrested at about age five, at best, and the far-reaching tragic consequences of handing that person the most powerful position on the planet.”
Lee pointed to Trump’s dismantling of the global pandemic response system established by former President Barack Obama and said she was not surprised by the decision. According to Lee, “science-driven, prevention methods” are the last thing that a person like Trump — who she claims “lives in a fantasy” — cares about.
“And above all he hates Barack Obama, who set it up,” Lee said.
“We might not even have an issue right now if he hadn’t axed the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] expert who was stationed in China for that reason; scientists stopped SARS, which was the exact equivalent.”
Lee is referring to Linda Quick, the CDC’s former resident adviser to the U.S. Field Epidemiology Training Program in China. As reported by Salon, Quick left in July of 2019 after learning that the Trump administration was eliminating the position altogether in September of the same year.
Not long ago, Lee warned that Trump’s alleged mental impairment would lead to a loss of lives. Her comment came early in March, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to sweep the globe, but before the U.S. became the epicenter of the virus.
Psychiatrists like Lee have faced criticism for breaking the Goldwater rule, also known as Section 7 in the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Principles of Medical Ethics. In this section, psychiatrists are prohibited from diagnosing public figures that have not met in person.
Regardless, Trump’s behavior has come under scrutiny from many in the field of psychiatry and psychology, as well as from personalities in other fields. As reported by NDTV, Indian-American author and spiritual guru Deepak Chopra previously claimed that Trump’s emotional development is akin to a 3-year-old-child and claimed he is “incapable” of progressing past this stage of development.
According to Chopra, Trump lacks intuition, insight, and creativity, which is why he believes the president is unable to offer “hope, trust, stability or compassion.”