Letter to the Speaker on Immediate Safety for the Public
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Office of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the U.S. Congress:
The president is impeached, but waiting until January 19, 2021, for conviction and removal poses a grave risk to society.
The president has demonstrated a willingness to influence others to act with violence, and many lawmakers were almost killed. He retains access to weapons that are capable of destroying civilization. If a serial killer were on the loose with bombs, ammunition, and assault rifles, we would not wait several days to contain him. Yet we are doing so for someone who is a much greater danger. Impeachment alone leaves the public vulnerable. The president’s volatile reaction to his first impeachment serves as a warning of the consequences of incomplete action.
As health professionals, our concerns are not politically driven but compelled by a medical need. As independent mental health experts who are not under White House employment or subordination to the commander-in-chief, we are concerned that the president is an imminent danger to others, which requires an involuntary psychiatric evaluation.
Alternatively, we urge you to reopen the possibility of Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, or any other means of immediate removal of presidential powers. The vice president declined the use of Section 4 based on a lack of “science and facts,” seemingly unaware that we have documented medical facts in a report that would be admissible in court as scientific evidence. We urge you to give a hearing to our medical and psychological expertise in ways that could be vitally helpful to you.
We urge that you act on your first duty, which is the same as ours: to ensure safety. It will be healing not just in the immediate term but in the minds of a reassured nation for years to come.
Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div.
The World Mental Health Coalition