Yale University psychiatrist Dr. Bandy X. Lee hasn’t held back from accusing President Donald Trump of being mentally unfit for the presidency.
But when asked about presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s mental state, Lee said that “cognitive issues or even mental illness” aren’t disqualifying factors for holding office.
Anti-Trump psychiatrist dodges questions on Biden
Lee has long been an outspoken critic of President Trump, and she was joined in 2019 by dozens of other mental health professionals — none of whom have personally evaluated Trump — in publishing a book titled “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” proposing that all presidential candidates be subjected to psychiatric screenings to determine their fitness for office.
Lee took part in a brief interview this week with Breitbart reporter Kyle Olson on his eponymous radio show during which she routinely gave Biden a pass while repeatedly shifting the discussion back to her critiques of President Trump. Listen below:
“Cognitive issues or even mental illness”
Asked if Biden should be evaluated, Dr. Lee hesitantly agreed. When pressed about how she’d never “personally evaluated” President Trump, however, she hemmed and hawed and suggested that the second- and third-hand accounts of personal interactions with him and his associates as documented in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report were sufficiently “useful” to replace an in-person evaluation.
When asked if she’d seen any evidence of mental decline in Biden’s speeches or TV appearances, Lee replied, “I normally don’t comment on public figures frivolously.” Apparently, this standard does not apply to Trump.
“I would just say that cognitive issues or even mental illness does not disqualify a person from office. What disqualifies are dangerousness and unfitness,” Lee said. She then claimed that “many presidents” in the past have had issues or “defects” that nevertheless fell short of making them “dangerous” like she believes President Trump to be.
Trump is fair game; Biden is not
When asked about the allegations of sexual assault against Biden from former Senate staffer Tara Reade and whether those allegations were evidence of “violent tendencies” that would render the former vice president dangerous and unfit, Lee claimed to be unaware of Reade’s allegations. She returned to her blanket recommendation that all candidates be screened for mental fitness.
Lee again declined to give an opinion on Biden’s mental health — again, despite repeatedly speculating about Trump — but did say she’d seen nothing alarming so far. She reiterated that she wasn’t concerned about cognitive decline or mental illness but rather was focused on “signs of dangerousness.”
“I haven’t really seen those in Biden, but I haven’t really observed him closely,” she admitted. She later implied that even if Biden was suffering from cognitive decline and mental illness, like dementia, he still wouldn’t be as dangerous as she believed Trump is, who she also implied was suffering from dementia.
At the conclusion of the interview, Olson asked if Lee believes “Trump’s supporters also have mental issues if they vote for him in November” — a reference to past remarks from Lee.
“Actually, I’d like to end the interview now if that’s alright,” she said.