Earlier this month, Yale psychiatry professor Dr. Bandy X. Lee warned Congress about President Donald Trump’s mental stability in light of his explosive first year in office. Ever since, she says, she has received thousands of death threats both on and off social media.
“I was concerned because I was getting a thousand threatening messages a day at once point,” Lee explained to the New Haven Register. She also said, though, that the messages have “calmed down a little bit” since she first openly spoke out about Trump.
Generally speaking, mental health professionals avoid commenting on politicians’ mental stability. But for Lee, an “internationally recognized expert on violence,” Trump’s psychological state of mind is a major national issue because he serves as the country’s leader. That means, as a mental health professional, she felt she had a responsibility to inform the public about his perceived behavior.
“My concern is not Mr. Trump’s personal mental health,” she told the Register. “It is the threat that he poses to the public by virtue of occupying the office of the presidency, and I am acting on my obligation to the public, as professionals have an obligation to the public and not just to their private patients.”
Last week, President Trump received a perfect score on his cognitive health exam, but some continue to speculate that the White House is downplaying the president’s mental health issues. Controversy particularly arose after it was revealed that the president’s cognitive assessment was as simple as recognizing a camel and drawing a clock, certainly not the most challenging parts of being the president.