Tag: 25th

Can Pelosi Invoke 25th Amendment To Remove Trump From White House? What The Law States, How It’s Implemented

KEY POINTS

  • President Trump has been given two experimental treatments and a powerful steroid to treat COVID-19
  • Pelosi questioned Trump’s recent behavior, saying he appears to be in an “altered state”
  • Trump responded, calling Pelosi crazy

Democratic lawmakers say they are concerned about President Donald Trump’s mental state following treatment for COVID-19 and introduced legislation Friday to create a commission to determine if the president is fit for office under the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The discussion comes just 24 days before the Nov.3 election.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said there never has been a good time to set up the commission but the current situation has focused everyone’s attention.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denied this is just another attempt by Democrats to go around the voting process.

“This is not about President Trump. He will face the judgment of voters. But he shows the need to create a process for future presidents,” Pelosi said.

The 25th Amendment was ratified in 1967 to clarify the process, and though it calls for such a commission, one never was set up.

Historically, the practice has been for the vice president to succeed to the nation’s highest office, if the president was out of the picture.

George H.W. Bush became acting president in July 1985 while Ronald Reagan underwent a colonoscopy, but not when Reagan was shot in 1981. Richard Cheney became acting president in June 2002 and July 2007 while George W. Bush underwent colonoscopies. In all three cases, the president sent letters to the speaker of the House and president pro tem of the Senate, making the appointments. Subsequent letters then were submitted rescinding the appointments.

The last time a vice president succeeded to the presidency due to the death of a president was 1963 when Lyndon Johnson became president after John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

If the vice president and majority of the president’s cabinet determine the president is unable to perform the duties of office, they can issue a declaration and transfer power to the vice president.

Pelosi Thursday said the president appears to be “in an altered state right now,” citing the powerful steroid dexamethasone he was prescribed to treat COVID-19. The steroid is known for causing aggression, irritability and interference with thought processes. She also mentioned Trump bragging about the medications he was given, all of which still are undergoing evaluation.

Trump responded by calling Pelosi crazy.

Pelosi cited Trump’s tweet Tuesday ordering an end to stimulus negotiations while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted he had stopped going to the White House in August because he was dissatisfied with the precautions being taken against spread of the coronavirus.

This is not the first time invoking the 25th Amendment has come up during Trump’s presidency. The New York Times reported former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested it two years ago during the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The order of succession is laid out by the Presidential Succession Act of 1947:

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Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis and the 25th Amendment

The key provision is the 25th Amendment. The original Constitution provided that the vice president steps in when the president is incapacitated, but it said nothing about how the president’s incapacity was supposed to be determined. As a result, we have had long stretches (when President James Garfield was shot; when President Woodrow Wilson had a stroke) where the vice president should have been in charge but instead the president’s staff or spouse ruled. Enacted in the 1960s after John F. Kennedy was assassinated and at the height of the Cold War, the 25th Amendment finally provided a clear process, with the aim of ensuring that there is always a hand at the helm.

Section 3 of the amendment allows the president to transfer power voluntarily to the vice president. To do this, Trump would send formal notice to the speaker of the House and president pro tempore of the Senate, declaring that he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Upon transmitting this declaration, Vice President Pence would become acting president — those powers and duties would all go to him. Whenever Trump felt able again, he would send a new declaration and immediately take back control.

Invoking Section 3 is totally up to the president. But for a variety of reasons (the desire to project strength, to maintain continuity and calm, optimism about one’s health, denial about one’s health, paranoia about losing power), presidents are generally unlikely to use this provision unless it is absolutely necessary. Section 3 has been used only three times: once by President Ronald Reagan, twice by George W. Bush. Each time involved the president receiving general anesthesia for surgery for a few hours. It was not invoked when Reagan was shot and almost killed in 1981; it certainly should have been, but the president and his aides never seriously considered it.

Recognizing that the president might be incapacitated but unwilling to admit it — or, more problematically, unable to admit it because he is unconscious — the 25th Amendment also includes Section 4, which transfers power without the president’s consent. Instead of Trump transmitting his declaration declaring he is “unable,” Pence and a majority of the core members of the Cabinet do so (there are either 14 or 15; it is unclear whether Chad Wolf, the sole acting member of the Cabinet, can legally participate). As in Section 3, power immediately transfers to the vice president. If Pence and the Cabinet members did invoke Section 4, then whenever Trump felt able enough to resume his duties, he would send a declaration to that effect, kicking off a four-day waiting period during which Pence would stay in control. If Pence and a majority of the Cabinet did not disagree with Trump’s declaration within those four days, Trump would retake his powers. If Pence and the Cabinet did disagree, the question would get kicked to Congress, with Pence in charge in the interim. Unless both houses agreed by a two-thirds majority,

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Fulcrum Therapeutics Announces Multiple Presentations During the Virtual 25th International Congress of the World Muscle Society

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fulcrum Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: FULC), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on improving the lives of patients with genetically defined rare diseases, today announced it will present multiple posters on the company’s ongoing studies in patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) during the 25th International Congress of the World Muscle Society.

“FSHD is a serious and debilitating disease for which there are currently no approved therapies,” said Diego Cadavid, MD, Fulcrum’s senior vice president, clinical development. “We are pleased to share these data at this important scientific meeting as we continue to pursue losmapimod as a potential treatment for FSHD by addressing the root cause of the disease. We greatly appreciate the patients who have participated in our trials and the support we have received from key opinion leaders and investigators.”

During the Virtual Poster Session today, October 1, 2020 from 12:30pm – 2:30pm ET, Fulcrum will present four posters on its integrated approach to the evaluation of FSHD patients, highlighting the progress made in the development of imaging and molecular biomarkers in FSHD and the design of clinical trials to evaluate potential benefits of losmapimod in FSHD patients:

  • Development and Evaluation of a Whole-body MRI Protocol and Analysis Algorithms to Measure Changes in Skeletal Muscle in FSHD

  • A Biomarker of Aberrant DUX4 Activity to Evaluate Losmapimod Treatment Effect in FSHD Phase 2 Trials

  • Open-Label Pilot Study of Losmapimod in FSHD1 (NCT04004000)

  • A Phase 2, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, 48-Week Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Losmapimod in Treating Subjects with FSHD: ReDUX4 (NCT04003974) Interim Analysis

The poster sessions will be available to registered conference attendees. The posters will also be made available in the “Publications” section of fulcrumtx.com.

About FSHD
FSHD is characterized by progressive skeletal muscle loss that initially causes weakness in muscles in the face, shoulders, arms and trunk, and progresses to weakness throughout the lower body. Skeletal muscle weakness results in significant physical limitations, including an inability to smile and difficulty using arms for activities, with many patients ultimately becoming dependent upon the use of a wheelchair for daily mobility.

FSHD is caused by mis-expression of DUX4 in skeletal muscle, resulting in the presence of DUX4 proteins that are toxic to muscle tissue. Normally, DUX4-driven gene expression is limited to early embryonic development, after which time the DUX4 gene is silenced. In people with FSHD, the DUX4 gene is turned “on” as a result of a genetic mutation. The result is death of muscle and its replacement by fat, leading to skeletal muscle weakness and progressive disability. There are no approved therapies for FSHD, one of the most common forms of muscular dystrophy, with an estimated patient population of 16,000 to 38,000 in the United States alone.

About Losmapimod
Losmapimod is a selective p38α/β mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor that was exclusively in-licensed from GSK by Fulcrum Therapeutics following Fulcrum’s discovery of the role of p38α/β inhibitors in the reduction of DUX4 expression and an extensive

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