Yale University has fired a psychiatrist and professor who became well-known in liberal media circles during former President Donald Trump’s administration for diagnosing him with various mental disorders, though she had never examined him in person.
Dr. Bandy X. Lee was fired by Yale last year following a complaint by Harvard professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz who said she was in gross violation of the so-called “Goldwater Rule” — diagnosing subjects from afar sans an actual psychological evaluation, according to a Friday report in The New York Times.
The 2020 complaint by Dershowitz, who defended Trump during his first impeachment, stems from an interview with Fox News as revelations arose that he may have accompanied serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein to his infamous island, where Dershowitz, too, has been accused by one of the alleged victims of having sex with her as a minor.
Dershowitz vehemently denied the allegation, saying at the time that he had a “perfect sex life” with his wife, Carolyn Cohen.
The comment led Lee to publicly compare Dershowitz’s use of the word “perfect” to the many times Trump used it, leading her to suggest in a tweet it might mean the law professor experienced a “shared psychosis” by taking on what she described as the former president’s “grandiosity and delusional-level impunity.”
Dershowitz lodged a complaint to Yale in an email days later, which then led to the head of the university’s psychology department to warn Lee, she says. Shortly thereafter, she lost her position.
In a lawsuit filed last week, Lee claims that she lost her appointment to the university’s psychiatry department for the first time since 2003 over Dershowitz’s complaint, noting further that the tweet in question was not a formal diagnosis. She also contends that the dismissal violates her free speech rights and academic freedom.
“My goal currently is to ensure that professionals and intellectuals are not silenced,” she told the Times.
But Dershowitz disagreed, saying that Lee often ventured into the political realm using unjustified and unsubstantiated medical opinions.
“The idea that you can diagnose me, without ever having even met me, is unprofessional, irresponsible and unacademic,” he told the Times.
During Trump’s tenure, Lee was a regular on news networks and frequently made determinations about his mental status and condition though she had never met him, must less evaluate him.
In January 2018, Lee was forced to admit that she exaggerated a meeting with a GOP senator who she claimed came to her to discuss Trump’s mental health.
“It wasn’t arranged in advance. It was accidental. It was incidental,” she said at the time.
The following month, Lee claimed that Trump was a “dangerous leader” following the shootings in Parkland, Fla., where a former student killed 17 classmates at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.
“We have an analogous situation with a dangerous leader who has access to far more lethal weapons than an AR-15,” Lee wrote in an op-ed for the New York Daily News. “Following the President’s words, I am reporting again to authorities, both as a citizen and a mental health professional, and making a record here.”
In April 2020, Lee claimed that Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings were “deadly” and that he was displaying “ant-human” behavior.
“We are facing a democide of genocidal proportions because we have handed power to someone who is anti-human in psychology,” she told Salon at the time.
In the same interview, she appeared to diagnose Trump’s supporters as well, claiming those who were opposed to ongoing coronavirus lockdowns were behaving like “child soldiers” who can turn into “armed troops in the streets” if Trump does not win the election in November.
“In Africa, where I did some ethnographic work, child soldiers would be recruited and made to kill a family member to demonstrate their allegiance to the government and not to the family. Similarly, in urban gangs in America, one may be challenged to kill a police officer to prove one’s willingness to uphold gang rules over societal rules,” she said.
“When Donald Trump suggests that the virus be taken as a ‘hoax’, that people gather in churches or that people protest for their own sacrifice, he is actually testing people’s loyalty to the ‘laws’ of his mind over the laws of nature, or even impulse for survival.
In November, she suggested that those cities where Trump’s support is the greatest should be obliterated.
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