Yale Psychiatrist Sues After She Was Fired For Calling Trump Supporters Psychotic


Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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A former psychiatrist at Yale University sued the college for wrongful termination, numerous sources reported. She was allegedly fired over tweets that said supporters of former President Donald Trump suffered from “shared psychosis.”

Bandy Lee, who served as a faculty member at Yale for 17 years, alleges the university fired her after she tweeted in January 2020 that Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer on Trump’s legal team and part of Trump’s “inner circle,” had “wholly taken on Trump’s symptoms by contagion,” the Yale Daily News reported Tuesday.

Following the tweet, the lawsuit alleges Dershowitz sent an email to Yale alleging Lee had violated ethics rules of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) by diagnosing him as suffering from psychosis “based on my legal and political views, and without ever examining or even meeting me.” Dershowitz also called on the APA to discipline Lee.

Lee was not diagnosing Dershowitz, according to the lawsuit, but commenting on the “contagion of symptoms that can happen in a situation where a highly symptomatic individual is placed in an influential position.”

In response to Dershowitz, the lawsuit claims the chair of Yale’s psychiatry department, Dr. John Krystal, warned Lee that the department would have to “terminate [her] teaching role” if her behavior didn’t change.

Krystal wrote that Lee was not making “reasoned statements” since she had limited information to draw clinical conclusions from, and questioned whether the department could trust Lee to “teach medical students, residents, and forensic psychiatry fellows.”

“Worse, the recklessness of your comments creates the appearance that they are self-serving in relation to your personal political beliefs and other possible personal aspirations,” Krystal wrote, according to the lawsuit. 

Court documents said Yale refused to hold additional discussions or investigate the accusations against Lee, and terminated her in May 2020, according to Yale Daily News.

Krystal sent a letter to Lee in September 2020 explaining why she was terminated and pointed to her public comments that suggested Trump was “incapacitated by a psychiatric disorder” and had demonstrated a “pattern of delusions.” 

“In January 2020, you called for an ‘involuntary evaluation’ of President Trump,” Krystal added, according to the lawsuit. Krystal had also claimed Lee repeatedly violated APA ethics rule, and said her behavior had “raised significant doubts” about her understanding of psychiatric ethical and legal principles.

The lawsuit listed five causes, including breach of contract, breach of good faith and wrongful termination. Lee alleged the university violated her right to academic freedom and that her tweets about Trump supporters were supported by the First Amendment.

“I have done this with a heavy heart, only because Yale refused all my requests for a discussion, much as the American Psychiatric Association has done,” Lee told the Yale Daily News.

“I love Yale, my alma mater, as I love my country, but we are falling into a dangerous culture of self-censorship and compliance with authority at all cost.”

In November 2020, Lee received backlash for comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler in a later deleted tweet. The tweet said that unlike Trump, Hitler improved the lives of his supporters. (RELATED: Psychiatrist Who Sought A Mental Health Check For Trump Compares Him To Hitler)

Lee told the Daily Caller News Foundation in November that she took down the tweet because “people were fixated on a specific comparison, which was not the point. My focus was on the dangerousness of Donald Trump. This has always been a consensus within the mental health community.”

Lee is the author of the 2017 book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” which includes the “consensus view” from more than two dozen psychiatrists and psychologists that “Trump’s mental state presents a clear and present danger to our nation and individual well-being.”