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Trump's temper tantrum hurting federal workers

"Absolutely, I said that," said President Trump at a press conference when asked to confirm whether he said the ongoing government shutdown could last "months, or even a year, or longer."

Thank you for your editorial ("The 800,000 faces of the government shutdown,” Jan. 11). Shutting down the United States' government because President Donald Trump didn't get his way is a temper tantrum.

We have a 72-year-old man with a 3-year-old temperament at the helm of the most powerful country in the world! Border security, immigration etc. is such a complex issue that requires a measured, serious discussion from all sides.

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In my field of child and adolescent psychiatry, treating seriously ill patients requires complex, multidisciplinary and thoughtful approaches to implement a treatment plan. Often there are several ways to approach the patient's mental illness. Can you imagine if all of the mental health facilities in town were shut down because the doctor didn't get his way in treating the patient? That would not only be malpractice, it would be illegal. And by the way, many other patients could die in addition to the one in question.

It would appear to me that if the president was truly sincere in his ideas of how to achieve border security, he would lead by example and have himself, his cabinet and his staff sacrifice payment of salary and financial perks until a satisfactory end is achieved. Many of my patients' parents would sell the shirt off their back to help their children through their complex and daunting challenges. I am afraid our developmentally challenged president is expecting the reverse to achieve his goal.

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That is a national emergency.

Dr. Stuart R. Varon

The writer is an assistant professor of psychiatry in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a clinical assistant Professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

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