LETTER TO VICE PRESIDENT, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, AND MEMBERS OF THE U.S. CONGRESS
(Submitted on January 8 and January 11, 2021)
January 8, 2021
Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the U.S. Congress:
Since March 2020, we have been urging, for national security reasons, that Donald Trump be removed from the presidency, whatever the means, including the 25th Amendment, impeachment, resignation, or an involuntary psychiatric hold. Now, the need for immediate intervention has become acute.
For us as mental health professionals, these processes are as much a critical means for behavioral containment as a political procedure and should be pursued with speed and firmness, while ensuring guardrails, to be effective in containing the danger. Our recommendation is that demands for resignation, impeachment, and 25th Amendment hearings all happen simultaneously and forcefully.
As a backup for reasons of safety, we petitioned for an involuntary psychiatric hold, and we urge you to support our call for an immediate psychiatric evaluation of the president. His actions of the past few days indicate that he is imminently dangerous, and in the coming hours he is likely to suffer progressive deterioration of his mental state and impulse control, in the context of the reality of his election loss and the suspension from social media and contact with his supporters.
He has already shown himself, on January 6, 2021, to be a grave danger to others. Hospitalization will prevent Mr. Trump from harming himself and/or others, or from directing another episode of group violence, while preserving his dignity and that of his office.