As Democrats parade the opinions of various psychiatric and psychological TV “experts,” claiming that President Trump is “mentally ill” and unfit for office, I was recently asked: “Should Congress and political candidates release medical records to run for or hold political office?” And “Is it even ethical for psychiatrists and psychologists to be on TV claiming the president is mentally ill, or has a personality disorder, if they have not examined the patient?”
These questions became even more relevant with the recent revelation that Grubbs Pharmacy on Capitol Hill delivers prescriptions almost daily to members of Congress and their staff, some of which are medicines for serious illnesses like Alzheimer’s dementia. In fact, the pharmacist who handles these prescriptions for Congress and the elite on Capitol Hill is quoted in the article saying he finds it “troubling” that the public does not know who is suffering from such diseases that affect brain function, memory, judgment, and ability to think and analyze complex information.
In several recent media interviews, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi demonstrated facial tics, long pauses as she searched for words, stumbling over the pronunciation of simple words and difficulty remembering basic information, dates, names and even who is president.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton displayed facial tics, speech pauses, difficulty standing and difficulty recalling words during the 2016 campaign. Yet the public was only told she had “pneumonia.” These observations are not typical of pneumonia and suggest a more serious neurological problem.
Sen. John McCain disclosed he has a serious brain cancer, but has remained in office, casting critical votes that affect all Americans, although this type of cancer can impair thinking and judgment and cause behavior changes.
Vliet's armchair doctoring does have a blind spot, though, for politicians she does like:
President Trump has not exhibited any of the behaviors described above to suggest a medical or mental problem affecting performance. His speech is fluid, articulate and does not show the pauses and loss of common words that are easily observable with Pelosi, Clinton, or McCain.
Vliet wrote this was a few weeks before Trump was, in fact, caught slurring his words.
Vliet went on to demand that politicians make "proper medical disclosures" and she "suggests requiring all politicians holding or running for office to release their medical records and disclose any medical or mental conditions for which they are being treated with prescription medications." That's not necessarily a bad idea, but it's an ironic one coming from her because her idol Trump has made no such disclosures about his own health.
Trump's doctor issued a hastily written statement before the election declaring that "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." Vliet certainly understands that's not an informative or even helpful statement for a physician to make.