Monica Lewinsky is calling on the White House coronavirus task force to bring on a mental health czar to help Americans handle the stress of the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s an authority figure and voice that has been missing from the COVID-19 conversation since day one: a mental health commissioner or czar,” Lewinsky wrote in a Vanity Fair essay published Thursday. “In other words, a mental health version of [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director] Anthony Fauci.”
The magazine’s contributing editor — who as a 22-year-old White House intern in the 1990s faced a media firestorm after her affair with then-President Bill Clinton came to light — says the country needs someone “trusted who knows how to address Americans’ very real qualms about the threat of a deadly disease.”
“No matter the circumstances, virtually none of us have been immune to the anxiety, depression, fear, anger, and loneliness that’s been exacerbated or spread, just like the virus itself,” Lewinsky wrote, revealing the trauma she felt after enduring an attempted armed carjacking in 2011.
“And, yet, there’s been little guidance that has broken through the noise about how to handle those aspects of the pandemic,” Lewinsky wrote.
Lewinsky asked for Elinore McCance-Katz, the assistant secretary of Health and Human Services for mental health and substance use, to serve on the task force.
“What would it have meant to have had this kind of authoritative expert — live from the briefing room — consistently telling the nation about what is normal to — here comes the F-word — feel?” asks the anti-cyber bullying advocate.
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