A call to invoke the 25th Amendment

  • President Donald Trump listens during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, April 3. AP PHOTO/ALEX BRANDON

Published: 4/10/2020 12:56:37 PM
Modified: 4/10/2020 12:56:22 PM

Shouldn’t Mike Pence be president — at least until January 20, 2021? While in normal circumstances I would never endorse him, he should step in now. It is time for a citizens’ movement to demand the 25th Amendment to the Constitution be invoked and Donald Trump removed from office. Why? Because he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” as the statute states.

He is clearly not in his right mind. Before the US has even reached the peak of COVID-19 cases (which could stand at 400,000 when you read this), he recklessly said, “I would love to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter.” While he backed away from that idea — pushed by health expert recommendations — he did so reluctantly and didn’t acknowledge his about-face.

Is it rational to suggest — as Trump did a couple of weeks ago that health professionals told him that more people will die from the economic impact than coronavirus? Equating economic health with people’s lives is, well, crazy. (Trump refused to identify the health experts he fictitiously cited.)

Whenever Trump, flanked by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, steps before the cameras he displays why he is unfit. The doctors serving on that task force — especially Anthony Fauci — witness his rants daily (up close and too personal). Imagine Dr. Fauci leading a delegation to congressional leaders and the Trump cabinet to call for his removal. It isn’t hard to do. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

The Teflon president who has survived sex, lies, and Ukrainian tapes — even impeachment — is too dangerous to be allowed to remain in office — not for several more days, let alone several more months.

Tale his tirades against Democratic governors, or his March 20 tirade against NBC News reporter, Peter Alexander, who asked Mr. Trump what he wished to say to those Americans who are scared about the coronavirus spreading across the country. With millions frightened, Alexander gave Trump an opportunity to reassure an anxious nation. In response, Trump spat out, “I say that you are a terrible reporter. That’s what I say — ” and then let loose a torrent of invective against Alexander. What president in his right mind would turn a moment to act as consoler-in-chief into a hysterical rant? (By contrast VP Pence answered, “I would say, ‘Do not be afraid to be vigilant.’”)

Are Trump’s supporters scared more of his wrath than they are of the virus? Are they blind to his erratic behavior? Sen. Mitt Romney was the lone Republican to vote to convict at Trump’s impeachment trial. Why don’t we flood his office calling on the former Massachusetts governor to meet with Dr. Fauci to discuss Trump’s removal.

“These are psychiatric symptoms, not simply boorish behaviors,” Dr. John Talmadge, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center tweeted recently, suggesting Trump is not sound of mind. “Trump is mentally ill, cognitively compromised, brain impaired.…” We must not become the frog slowly boiling in poisoned water.

With millions of people living through the pandemic being urged — ordered — to stay indoors, and as world economies barely hang on, it is more than irresponsible to continue to use the presidential bully pulpit to proclaim he has “a good feeling” that the antimalarial drug chloroquine could be a cure for COVID-19: it is delusional and a health hazard. No clinical trials have been completed to reliably suggest the drug as a treatment. In fact, an Arizona man died and his wife was hospitalized after they took chloroquine phosphate after hearing Trump suggest it as a possible effective treatment for the virus.

Dr. Bandy X. Lee, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, told Medhi Hasan of “The Intercept” that Trump “dangerously lacks mental capacity, which he exhibits through his inability to take in information and advice, to process critical information, or to consider consequences before making impulsive, unstable, and irrational decisions that are not based in reality but fight reality.” She pointed out that at coronavirus briefings he exhibits “delusional-level distortion and misinformation” because he is “disconnected from reality.”

Wildfire damage is easy to see. Earthquakes and hurricanes, too. The mental illness of a president endangering our country is right in front of us if we simply open our eyes.

Out of his depth, yes; out of his mind, definitely. Out of office? Only if we push to make it happen.

Syndicated by PeaceVoice, Rob Okun is editor of Voice Male magazine. He can be reached at rob@voicemalemagazine.org.


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