Letter to the Vice President on the 25th Amendment
January 13, 2021
The Honorable Michael Pence
Office of the Vice President of the United States
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. Vice President:
You said in your letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi on January 12, 2021: “Just a few months ago, when you introduced legislation to create a 25th Amendment Commission, you said, ‘[a] President’s fitness for office must be determined by science and facts.’ You said then that we must be ‘[v]ery respectful of not making a judgment on the basis of a comment or behavior that we don’t like, but based on a medical decision.’ Madam Speaker, you were right.” We are pleased to inform you that we do have the science and facts!
In April 2019, a panel of top, independent mental health experts convened from around the country to perform a full mental capacity evaluation on the president, as a public service, when the data became available through the Mueller report. The results were unequivocal, in that the president was found not to meet any of the criteria for basic mental capacity, which means he is likely unable to hold any job, let alone president. This is medical evidence that would count as scientific fact in any court.
You quoted Ecclesiastes in your letter: “for everything there is a season,… a time to heal,… and a time to build up.” As a healer, as a physician, I would like to submit that, in this situation, accountability would be healing. Staying with facts and reality would aid treatment. Consulting independent, non-White House employed physicians would bring medical neutrality that can give us the truth.
Not everything is political, and this is why, I believe, the drafter of the 25th Amendment has repeatedly stated that the data, sometimes assisted by doctors—especially with psychiatric conditions, which are often hard to understand—should come first. Hence, rather than prematurely closing the possibility, we urge you to consider hearing the evidence. We are ready to present it.
Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div.
President of the World Mental Health Coalition