Bandy X. Lee
4 min readMar 5, 2020

At Your Request, a Mental Health Report on Joe Biden

Since you keep asking, here is my report on Joseph R. Biden Jr.:

I do not diagnose without examination and do not speak about public figures in general, unless there is evidence of such profound danger to public health and well-being because of serious signs of mental instability in a public servant, that it would be a public disservice not to share my knowledge and training. Biden has not risen to this threshold. A few stumbled words are not the same as the extreme dangers that result from: delusions of grandeur, omnipotence, and impunity; pathological lying to the level where almost no truth can be found in any of his words; making up fake news and threatening anyone who would contradict him, including calling legitimate news sources “the enemy of the people”; encouraging and promoting violence; traumatizing children and expressing glee at others’ suffering; belligerence against enemy and allied nations in ways that have dramatically worsened geopolitical instability; near-complete lack of empathy and detachment from reality; programming and hypnotizing his followers to believe only his words and not “what you’re seeing and what you’re reading”; neurological emergency-level slurring of speech, movement abnormalities, frequent memory lapses, dramatically shrinking vocabulary, repetitions, tangential thinking, or loss of direction; and stumbled words.

That I have not volunteered reports “on both sides” should be proof that this is not a political exercise. I never spoke up about a president or a presidential candidate either before or after Donald Trump, and neither have thousands of other mental health professionals who have come forth with similar concerns in ways that are unprecedented in U.S. history, for any president of any party. I only speak up when there is a medical need of such great magnitude as to risk the survival of the human species. This is definitively Donald Trump, not Biden. Nor is it Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, or any other false equivalences people wish to create for political purposes.

In sum, I do not endorse candidates, but Joe Biden does not nearly meet my threshold for signs of dangerous mental instability. I still encourage all presidential and vice-presidential candidates to undergo fitness-for-duty exams that include a mental capacity evaluation. I recommend a repeat of these tests annually for sitting presidents and vice presidents. Meanwhile, Biden should not even come up if we cannot address the catastrophic dangers of Donald Trump, whose mental…

Bandy X. Lee

Forensic psychiatrist, violence expert, president of the World Mental Health Coalition (, and New York Times bestselling author.