A day after President Donald Trump openly speculated about injecting disinfectants into coronavirus patients and using large amounts of ultraviolet rays to treat the virus, MoveOn.org on Friday publicly called for Trump's cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove the president from office.
Trump's comments Thursday evening—which forced doctors to issue public statements pleading with Americans to ignore the president's advice—are only the latest evidence that his failed leadership and mismanagement of the pandemic is endangering people on a daily basis, MoveOn said.
If it wasn't already abundantly clear, Trump's alarming 'disinfectant' comments show it's long past time for the Cabinet to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Our statement: pic.twitter.com/LziWsQ3nSY
— MoveOn (@MoveOn) April 24, 2020
"It's not just Trump's words but his actions that reveal his utter inability to discharge the duties of his office," said Rahna Epting, the group's executive director.
"He downplayed the threat of coronavirus for months and went golfing when he should have been preparing, has still failed to ensure sufficient testing or PPE, and can't seem to figure out how to get stimulus checks and other relief to families in need," Epting continued. "He reportedly doesn't attend coronavirus briefings, but rather governs by watching TV. His egotism, intentional ignorance, and lack of rudimentary understanding of or respect for the Constitution are clear evidence of his inability to govern."
Earlier this month, Trump repeatedly touted hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
At least three people in Nigeria were hospitalized in late March after overdosing on the drug following Trump's statements about the medication. The wife of a man in Arizona who died from ingesting chloroquine phosphate confirmed that her husband used the substance because of the president's remarks in a televised briefing
"If it wasn't already abundantly clear it should be now: it's past time for the cabinet to exercise its constitutional responsibility and remove Trump from office," said Epting.
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On social media Thursday evening, following Trump's comments about disinfectants, stunned critics demanded to know why the 25th Amendment shouldn't be used to remove the president from office.
If the 25th Amendment is not used when a deranged, utterly irrational POTUS tells Americans to ingest disinfectants to treat COVID-19, then what is its purpose?
— Publius (@ThePubliusUSA) April 24, 2020
I mean, if there EVER was a reason to invoke the 25th Amendment, the President of the United States telling Americans to inject disinfectant and raise their hands to the sun to kill a pandemic virus IS IT.
— Elizabeth C. McLaughlin (@ECMcLaughlin) April 23, 2020
We might as well get rid of the 25th Amendment if we’re not going to get rid of President Bleach right now.
— Matt O'Brien (@ObsoleteDogma) April 24, 2020
In 2017, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment and said secret recordings of Trump would prove him to be unfit to serve as president.
Section 4 of the 25th Amendment reads as follows:
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.