"It's getting worse, we can all see it," CNN's Brian Stelter noted in a Monday segment on Donald Trump's mental health. "But it's still a very hard, a very sensitive story to cover," he added.
Stelter was one of several journalists grappling with how to cover a taboo subject that is also urgently pertinent to the man who is now running the country. Among "people who cover this world for a living," he said, "there is definitely widespread recognition that Trump's behavior is getting worse, in type and in frequency."
Nonetheless, few Washington journalists want to touch it. One main reason is, there's no format or agreed-upon language for having such a discussion about powerful political figures, let alone the pr*sident of the United States. Making matters worse, many mental health professionals are hesitant to ponder the diagnosis of someone whom they are not treating, due to ethical guidelines.
Nonetheless, some psychiatrists have prioritized their ethical "duty to warn" the public above other codes of conduct, making themselves available for comment on the matter. That group, now 37 strong, warned that Trump would only get progressively worse in their publication, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.
What many columnists are concluding is that Trump's exact diagnosis isn't the most salient issue, but rather the fact that it's obvious there's a problem. As conservative columnist Megan McArdle wrote in The Washington Post, "I’m not Trump’s doctor, and I don’t know what’s wrong with him ... But I don’t need a diagnosis to know that the symptoms are pretty worrying."
The Atlantic's James Fallows builds on McArdle’s point, observing that were Trump in any other position of power, people would be finding ways to orchestrate his ouster.
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