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Sharpiegate is the latest in an ever-growing list of evidence of the president’s diminishing mental health. More blatant was President Donald Trump’s July 4th speech claim that the 1775 Revolutionary Army “took over airports,” something no cognitively competent adult would claim, even extemporaneously. Did he forget he was talking about the Revolutionary War? Or that airports didn’t exist in 1775?

On Sept. 1, in another troubling lapse, Trump stated, “I’m not sure I’ve even heard of a Category 5 [hurricane] …other than I know it’s there, and it’s the ultimate, and that’s what we have, unfortunately.” The United States has been threatened by four Category 5 hurricanes prior to Dorian during Trump’s presidency: Matthew, Irma, Maria and Michael. If we’re to face these storms in the future, we need to remember our experience with them. Did our president forget?

Such lapses in elderly relatives are graciously excused. But Sharpiegate revealed more than a lapse. A mistake — warning Alabama of a hurricane. Narcissism — failure to admit that the warning was based on earlier models, not an accurate forecast. Paranoia — blaming the media for truth-telling. Perseveration — not just letting the matter drop, also a sign of diminishing mental health. He presented an altered map to NOAA. When asked where the new black line extending to Alabama came from, he responded, “I don’t know, I don’t know.”

This is an issue of safety, not politics. If he lies pathologically about a natural threat, how can we trust him to be fully oriented, wise and trustworthy about other threats?

Kristen Mark

Hardin

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