During a segment on CNN where he debated the practice of mental health experts diagnosing President Trump from afar, Dr. Allen Frances said that doing so would further stigmatize people who suffer from mental illness.
“Well, I think medicalizing politics has three very dire consequences,” Frances said. “The first is that it stigmatizes the mentally ill. I’ve known thousands of patients, almost all of them are well-behaved, well-mannered good people. Trump is none of these.”
“Lumping that is a terrible insult to the mentally ill and they have enough problems and stigma as it is,” he added.
Frances was speaking out against violating the “Goldwater Rule,” which states that it’s unethical for psychiatrists to give their professional opinions on people they haven’t examined in person.
“Second, calling Trump crazy hides the fact that we’re crazy for having elected him and even crazier for allowing his crazy policies to persist,” Frances continued.
He went on to say that “Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, Mao in the last century,” adding that he “may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were.”
Frances’ last claim had some people scratching their heads. As the Washington Examiner points out, among the three dictators Frances mentioned, Mao Zedong killed up to 45 million people.
Under Joseph Stalin, who led the Soviet Union from the 1920s until his death in 1953, around 20 million people died in labor camps, forced collectivization that resulted in famines, and executions in his many purges.
The Holocaust perpetrated by Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime killed around 11 million people.
CNN’s Brian Stelter later claimed that he didn’t challenge Frances’ remark because he was “was distracted by tech difficulties.”
Watch the segment below:
Featured image via screen grab