Wait, what?

Courtesy of The Independent

When Donald Trump targeted mental illness as the cause of the mass shootings that killed 31 people in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, federal health officials made sure no government experts might contradict him.

A Health and Human Services (HHS) directive on 5 August warned communication staffers not to post anything on social media related to mental health, violence and mass shootings without prior approval.

That alarmed some government mental health experts who said they felt muzzled at a moment many Americans were searching for answers to the US epidemic of mass shootings, said three agency employees.

Many researchers and mental health experts said Trump’s comments contradicted well-established research.

“Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger. Not the gun,” Trump said immediately after the shootings. In the following days, he doubled down on his statement, arguing that America should reopen mental institutions shuttered decades ago as a way to address mass shootings.

While mental illness is sometimes a factor in such shootings, it is rarely a predictor, according to a growing body of research. Most studies of mass shooters have found that no more than a quarter of them have diagnosed mental illness. Researchers have noted more commonly shared attributes include a strong sense of resentment, desire for notoriety, obsession with other shooters, a history of domestic violence, narcissism and access to firearms.

“To say that scientists and experts who know the data and facts best are not allowed to speak – that’s very concerning,” said Dominic Sisti, a University of Pennsylvania professor who studies ethics in mental health and psychiatry. “It’s especially alarming that they’re doing this at a critical moment when what we need most is research and evidence-based facts about mental illness.”

This is flat out censorship of government employees, and is especially egregious because their expertise and knowledge could be so crucial to keeping the public informed about the facts concerning a very frightening situation. 

Thankfully I am not a federal emplyee so I was quick to point out his lies and offer facts to counter his bullshit. 

We actually need an army to publicly point out when Trump lies to the public. 

It is damn near a full time job.