A CRISIS EMERGENCY REQUIRES AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE
Honorable Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi:
We feel that our leaders have failed us. Our president has severe mental problems that have made the coronavirus crisis significantly worse than it should have been.
We feel that our CIA has failed us, as it was supposed to know what was happening abroad and to warn us of threats so we could properly prepare.
We feel that our military has failed us, demanding even more money for tanks and missiles while not readying to defend us against a pandemic that is already killing far more Americans than all the recent wars and terrorist attacks combined.
We feel that our Congress has failed us by not urgently fulfilling its responsibilities.
The truth is that the risk of a grave pandemic has been known for some time. Those who know anything about pandemics have warned us, urging us precisely to prepare for what has now happened.
The SARS outbreak in 2003 was a lesson in how it could have been prevented. There have been papers, studies, lectures, and pleas to heed its warnings.
Indeed, government personnel ordered a major study after Donald Trump started cutting funding for pandemic preparedness back in 2017. The comprehensive study accurately warned that what is happening now could happen and that we needed to prepare urgently. But the president’s subordinates so feared even to present the study to him that the pleas for more funding for urgent preparations could not even reach those who could have and should have acted.
We mental health professionals began warning against the dangers of this president since before his inauguration, organizing our first public event in April 2017. We did not predict this particular crisis, but we did predict that, when a crisis occurred, he would not be able to handle it properly because of his lack of mental capacity: his inability to base decisions on facts and expert advice. His mental impairments would render him not only incapable, but he would be compelled to make harmful decisions and to hamper helpful decisions from being carried out.
Since that first conference at Yale, we have continued to warn through our public-service book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, and in many articles and forums, of what the consequences of allowing this dangerous president to remain in authority could be.
Since the Congress has not consulted with us, and we have an independent professional responsibility to protect society, we offer the following recommendations to you, with the hope that you will seriously consider them:
A crisis emergency requires a crisis response.
We recommend that the House of Representatives immediately, today if possible, establish an Emergency Crisis Committee. It should immediately begin convening daily televised hearings, calling on top CDC and Trump administration officials to answer all questions about the handling of the pandemic and what is being done to correct past errors.
With this information brought together, literally in the next few days, you can lead the Congress to assume its responsibilities in this dire existential emergency, not simply respond to the whims of a president and an executive branch that has so far failed to protect our country.
In recent days, we and other health professionals have made our urgent appeal through our “Prescription for Survival,” available now at PrescriptionforSurvival.org.
We are not concerned about the specifics of our recommendations, as long as our goal of safeguarding the nation’s security is achieved. We are now speaking of tens of thousands of lives, if not the future of our country.
A common recommendation — to deal with Donald Trump in November at election time and to make him pay — although correct in principle, does not reflect the time urgency of this life-or-death situation.
With Donald Trump still in power and with even worse and more dangerous crises likely ahead, either he has to be removed now one way or another or at least his national influence be curtailed, and the CDC experts and medical professionals put fully in charge as we outline in the minimal option of our Prescription for Survival.
Thank you for your attention and time.
Members of the World Mental Health Coalition