There are two equally dangerous diseases decimating the United States. One is the COVID-19 pandemic and the other is delusional psychosis.

Delusional psychosis is the unshakeable belief in things that are objectively untrue. Previously called paranoid disorder, it is a type of serious mental illness in which a person cannot tell what is real from what is imagined.

Evidence suggests that stress can trigger delusional psychosis. Alcohol and drug abuse also might contribute to it. People who tend to be isolated, or those with poor sight and hearing or cognitive function, appear to be more likely to suffer from delusional psychosis.

There are two delusional complexes manifesting in many thousands, if not millions, of individuals in the U.S. presently that seem to be associated with political affiliation. They often both revolve around the paranoid ideation of a shadow government called the Deep State.

One complex is the belief that COVID-19 is being overblown, deaths and infection rates have been inflated and the kind of face masks used for a century to control disease transmission in hospitals are therefore unnecessary instruments of oppression.

The other complex is that despite Joe Biden having received nearly 6 million more popular votes and a 306-to-232 majority of electoral votes that somehow Biden didn’t defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

David Higgins

Wallla Walla