Prez: “We’re doing great; our country is doing so great.”

March 23, 2020 • 1:30 pm

Here’s a history of Trump’s misleading statements about the coronavirus pandemic. It’s good to see them all in one place. He’s a duplicitous and mendacious liar, and I’m still betting he won’t be re-elected.

And a diagnosis from a mental health professional a month ago on MSNBC. My only beef is that I didn’t think it was considered ethical for psychiatrists to give a clinical diagnosis for someone they haven’t met and interacted with.

h/t: Norm

68 thoughts on “Prez: “We’re doing great; our country is doing so great.”

  1. One of my best friends is a psychiatrist and once I asked her what she thought of him clinically. Quoth she: “I can’t do a mental health assessment on someone I haven’t met in person; he’s just a f*ckwit.”

  2. I understand your ethical concerns, but is it fair to say that psychiatrists and psychologists have a good amount to work with even though he’s not on anyone’s couch? Trump’s obvious self-centeredness, his lies, and his ongoing and relentless avoidance of reality in favor of embracing delusional ideas have to count for something in order to make a reasonably fair assessment (diagnosis) from afar, yes?

        1. As I see it, just because the analysis is deemed “unethical” by the APA doesn’t make the analysis wrong.

          Just think about that.

          And kudos for the professionals for bucking their masters in service of the higher cause of public safety.

    1. I would suggest that *any* President, by the time they have been in office for six months, will have supplied enough material in the form of publicly screened information for a psychiatrist to make a reasonable diagnosis as to whether there is anything wrong and if so, what.

      (In tRump’s case, I would change ‘six months’ to ‘six weeks’, but that’s just me being cynical).


  3. It’s called the Goldwater rule.

    However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.

    1. I think that’s because there was private information exchanged between patient and doctor, and this privacy should be respected. Judging Trump for his public pronouncements and behavior doesn’t appear in any way unethical.

  4. I tend to dislike such evaluations anyway, regardless of veracity, as it’s not exactly taking the high road.

    Even strategically, it’s not a good idea to make a contentious point besides a really solid point, because that allows people who disagree with you to ignore the solid one and just engage on the contentious one. This is one of those cases where logic and rhetoric are different. In rhetoric, “He’s a liar; here’s video evidence of it” is IMO stronger than “”He’s a liar; here’s video evidence of it, and he’s insane, here’s a psychologist talking about it.” Because if someone feels the second point is poor, they’re more likely to reject your first point as poor too.

  5. According to DSM-III, here are most of the diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (301.81).

    ¤ Reacts to criticism with feelings of rage, shame, or humiliation;

    ¤ is interpresonally exploitive; takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends;

    ¤ has a grandiose sense of self-importance, e.g., exaggerates achievments and talents…;

    ¤ is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited
    success, power, brilliance…;

    ¤ has a sense of entitlement: unreasonable expectation of especially favorable treatment…;

    ¤ requires constant attention and admiration, e.g., keeps fishing for compliments;

    ¤ lack of empathy: inability to recognize and experience how others feel… .


  6. The psychiatrist is one of 27 psychiatrists/psychologists who contributed to a book (2017 and updated I think) titled
    “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.”

    I’ve not read it but I just noticed that one of the contributors wrote about the ethics and the Goldwater rule. That section is available for reading as was the introduction, perhaps more.

    My track record of leaving links is Nil and perhaps this try will be as well but the book is easy to find.

    1. I have the book and read it when it first came out, shortly after Trump was elected. In the Introduction, you can read it for yourself, I believe they made a solid reasoning and background as to why they went forward with the book. Part of what they said was about responsibility to human life and well-being as paramount. Also they had to answer the question – Does Professional Responsibility Include a Duty To Warn?

      In the years since doing the book they have continued to observe and analyse this president from all he has said, from tons of video and so forth. I see no reason why the so called goldwater rule should stop them.

      At another place it mentioned about the motto, See something say something. Saying nothing is what might aid the rise of an American Hitler.

  7. As to the 2020 election,tRump is showing why he is dangerous and not to be counted out. He set a news conference where seemed less crazy (without Fauci etc) and timed it to eliminate the national news in the Midwest. An ideal free way to air political adds. In the 2016 election, one of his tactics was to always be in the news. This turned out to be very effective. It’s very hard to reason about the response of a largely stupid, frightened electorate in 2020. If the virus is still active during the election, it gives the Republicans lots of new ways to decrease the turnout of voters who oppose them.

  8. Sorry to have added much more to this list of responses than I intended.

    So how do you post a URL?


    1. You can use this — the word or phrase you want to carry the link goes where it says text, and the URL comes in between the inverted commas where it says link.


      1. dammit – it linked automatically. I’m an idiot. Add a to this thing below (Apologies to hoist for gumming up the comments.)

        a href=”link”>text</a

  9. The two issues here are ethics and accuracy.
    It is not ethical for a professional psychiatrist, let alone 37 of them, to diagnose the man without direct evaluation. But if 37 psychiatrists do so anyway, and they use his long history of numerous public appearances to make an assessment, and if they reach a consensus on what’s wrong with him, then we can still take seriously the possibility that their diagnosis is accurate.

    1. Even the most layman of us have the brains to observe this president and have read all the things he says, see his performance over and over again. All of the folks who wrote the book on Trump have done the same. We must ask ourselves, how much information do you need to know this guy has serious mental problems. After we are all under water I guess we can comfort ourselves on how we kept our mouths shut.

  10. As a Canadian watching from afar, but whose destiny is also to some degree in the hands of whoever American’s elect for president:

    I find it hard to be angry with Donald Trump.
    I’m repulsed by him. But he strikes me as so obviously defective in his very constitution, that I’m just watching a damaged, or limited, person act and speak. Sort of like trying to hold an alligator responsible for it’s character.

    Instead, my fury directs toward the huge numbers of people who elected this obviously deranged human in to power. It’s one thing to look at a single person as being incapable of thinking compassionately and rationally, but it’s hard to think that every person who elected Trump is just another Trump. Among them are plenty of people who can think far more straight than Trump, with more compassion, with more reason. And…dammit…THEY STILL ELECTED HIM!

    The above isn’t meant as some sort of consistent argument. I can see the holes right through it. (And yes, the free-will implications run through all of that). Rather, it’s just something I notice about my psychological attitude towards the Trump issue. I don’t feel mad at Trump, but I feel furious at those who elected him. Somehow it feels like a collection of people who, among them are not damaged goods like Trump, should have made a wiser decision than Trump can.

    1. If we have to give Trump credit for anything and I guess we do, it is what a large con job he did on a lot of people of a certain order.

    2. America is a land of tv watchers.

      They’ve made the fundamental error of confusing entertainment for governance.

      I have not had a tv in my house for over 30 years, fearing all along this very outcome.

    1. I would say “depraved indifference to anything which does not contribute directly to his personal wealth and fame, as seen from the protected cocoon of his luxurious life style”. Humans can die, lands and seas and sky can be polluted, … the only important thing are is TV scores.

      Btw, is the First Lady alive? Contrarily to previous ladies (both Republican and Democrats), she does seem to care much about the situation. What a great couple.

        1. I wrote the reverse of what I was thinking: “she does NOT seem to care” (other First ladies were caring more than Melania). Thank you for correcting me.

          Returning to Trump’s fallacies: the Guardian reports that a man died because he ingested chloroquine phosphate after Trump said it was a legit treatment for the covid-19.

  11. Trump is scared shitless to make any bold moves, to do anything but stand up there and spread his bog standard bullshit and braggadocio. He’d rather leave the hard decisions to the state governors; that way he’s got somewhere else to point the blame should anything go really, really bad.

    The sonuvabitch’ll do anything to shuck responsibility.

    1. Today he is trending to opening up. Once this first 15 days is done he is hoping to get the economy going again. It will just kill his reelection plans to do otherwise. As he calls it, the cure at this point is worse than the illness so maybe we should just send them back to work. Either way you kill people but this will be better for yours truly.

      1. I heard about this 15 days b.s. a few hours ago. When did “day 1” start? Today? Two weeks ago when he finally admitted there was a problem? Just more obfuscation and lack of leadership coming from Dear Leader. Pence is saying people can go back to work and wear masks. What a shit show, a show that will cause many deaths.

        Our governor here in Washington declared a “lock down enforceable by law” a half-hour ago. I hate “interesting times”.

      2. Since Trump has abdicated his responsibility to the state governors, he’ll have a hell of a time restarting the economy, since the states with the two largest economies — New York and California (the former of which includes Wall Street) — both have Democratic governors who’ve shut them down.

        I believe Trump lacks any authority to countermand those governors’ “shelter in place” or “essential businesses only” statewide orders, tant pis.

    1. Thanks for the link. I don’t disagree but I think the author could have taken it farther. The GOP gradually went from a party comprised of conservatives with lizard brain aversions to threats to one that weaponizes lizard brain fears to stay in power. I doubt whether cretins like Matt Gaetz are really even conservative. It is not conservative to wear a gas mask to Congress.

      1. The GOP is no longer a political party, conservative or otherwise; don’t really know what it is though. A pseudo-mafioso criminal enterprise? A plutocratic regime with theocratic methods of control? Or perhaps the most straightforward description: fascist.

          1. Sad but true, and I know too many family members and a couple friends who are in that personality cult. One of these friends are no longer I suppose. I reached out for some Covid-19 phone love to him and I’ve known since 2nd grade, and once I brought up certain facts of Trump’s ineptitude regarding the pandemic he started yelling and hung up on me. Probably gonna have to call it quits on that dude…pity.

          2. So if Trump loses in November and is out next year, does the cult transfer to another personality? I don’t expect the GOP to undergo a miraculous conversion to a civilized party or anything but have been curious to what comes next.

  12. I’m just thinking about November. If everyone who understands tRump is mentally ill and dangerous votes, as well as a good number of others, I think we will be able to finally exhale and be rid of him.

  13. I still have in my inbox the WEIT post “Coronavirus ticker” from 6 days ago. The screen shot has the infected at 102,721…click on it now, less than a week later and it’s at 384,132. This will not end well.

    Here’s the original WEIT post and for people who want to follow, this is important data. h/t Mark Sturtevant

  14. Psychoanalysing Trump based on his public statements and actions in his capacity as POTUS is about as unethical as psychoanalysing Hitler on the same kind of information, which is what Walter C. Langer did in 1943/4 at the behest of what was then the OSS. The 1972 book “The Mind of Adolf Hitler: The Secret Wartime Report” is based on this report. See the Wikipedia article at

    I can’t see how judgments of people by appropriate professionals based on non-confidential information can be unethical, especially if it helps shed light on the motivations for their behaviour, and possibly suggest means of dealing – or at least coping – with it.

  15. “He’s a duplicitous and mendacious liar”


    But I’d add :

    I seem to sense that he is getting a thrill from not merely.. ^^^what PCC(E) said … but going in front of millions of people and seeing how much he can do it and suffer no consequences. Thrill seeking at the American citizens’ expense.

  16. As of today – 25 March 2020 – the president has put forth his greatest masterwork of Fantasyland salesmanship yet. Using facts such as 1. viral infections eventually decrease, 2. the economy will eventually come back up, and 3. by enacting the Defense Production Act, the president has claimed we are at war (even though only an act of Congress can do that), we will win the war against the “enemy”. Ensconced in a “self-reliant” country-bunker, kept alive solely by products originating only from within the country – dependent on no other. As a decoration on this poisonous confection, this will sort of all be completed by a specific date, well known for “resurrection” – Easter.

    He can’t lose.

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