On Monday, the White House doctor gave the President a clean bill of health. Yet, he didn’t provide a detailed rundown of all the physical and cognitive tests doctors performed to measure his fitness for office.
Raw Story spoke with Dr. David M. Reiss, who’s performed fitness for duty exams. He’s a contributor to The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.” His chapter is on the importance of cognitive capacity in a president. .
Tana Ganeva: The President’s doctor just announced that he’s in “very good health” but did not provide details. Do you think they did due diligence in terms of gauging the president’s mental health?
Dr. David M. Reiss: The formal statement said “11 specialists were involved” but made no mention of which specialties or why. I have a strong hunch psychiatry was not among those specialties, but we have no data by which to make any comment regarding whether or not there was any type of mental health evaluation performed.
Tana Ganeva: From what you’ve observed, do you think President Trump has the mental and emotional fitness for office?
Dr. David M. Reiss: Based upon observed behavior (speeches, statements, press conferences, tweets), IMO, there is sufficient data to say that Trump is NOT emotionally “Fit for Duty” as President.
That’s just based upon his constant lying and inability to stay reality-oriented. Also that’s based upon his inability to articulate logical, rational and reality-based reasons for his actions and decisions. And that’s not to mention the more complex issue of his obvious malignant narcissism. I’ve performed well over 2000 fitness for duty evaluations on law enforcement/correctional personnel, medical personnel, school personnel. If someone presented in my office with the inabilities that Trump exhibits to think in a logical, reality-based manner, I would definitely withhold them from duty, at least pending further in-depth psychiatric and neurological evaluation and review of their work-performance history.
Tana Ganeva: What made you first wonder about the President’s mental fitness?
Dr. David M. Reiss: Having left NYC 30 years ago and not being a fan of reality TV, I only had passing knowledge of Trump (and no interest in him) prior to his run. Once he came down the escalator, the obvious narcissism “me-me-me” was a concern immediately. His “performance” in the primary debates displayed a very worrisome immaturity, ignorance and disregard for normal decency.
As I became aware of more information about his business history, etc., my concerns increased. The constant lying sealed the deal. Initially, I could not be sure it was not an “act” to some extent – a reincarnation of Andy Kaufmann. I could not be sure that he was the same “behind closed doors” as he portrayed in public. Now, all the evidence suggests that he’s worse behind closed doors.
Tana Ganeva: What are some recent events and actions by the president that cause you concern?
Dr. David M. Reiss: Not so much any one specific event as much as the continual pattern of lying, the inability to express logical reasons for any of his decisions or respond appropriately to questions or criticisms, the consistent self-centered immaturity, an evident inability to focus on the needs ——practical, political, financial, emotional—of anyone but Donald J. Trump.