Trump's COVID Accusation Riles America's Doctors

President alleged at rally that doctors are inflating coronavirus numbers for personal profit
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2020 9:00 AM CDT
Doctors Push Back After 'Malicious' Trump Accusation
President Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Oakland County International Airport on Friday in Waterford Township, Mich.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – A claim made without evidence by President Trump at a Friday rally in Michigan is now receiving pushback from the medical community. Per the Hill, Trump was speaking in Waterford Township when he stated that the coronavirus death count may be inflated for a wallet-packing reason. "Our doctors get more money if somebody dies from COVID," he said. "You know that, right? I mean, our doctors are very smart people. So what they do is they say, 'I'm sorry, but everybody dies of COVID." He made similar remarks at a Wisconsin rally last weekend, noting, "We report them and you know—doctors get more money, and hospitals get more money. Think of this incentive." He also made the claim that doctors in the US attribute deaths in coronavirus patients with underlying conditions to the virus, while other countries attribute many of those deaths to the patients' original underlying conditions.

"With us, when in doubt, choose COVID," he said. CNN reports on the inaccuracy of that statement, however, noting that even if a coronavirus patient has an underlying condition, the cause of death is COVID-19, as that's what ultimately killed them. "The underlying cause of death is the condition that began the chain of events that ultimately led to the person's death," says Bob Anderson, the CDC's chief of mortality statistics. As for what the New York Times calls Trump's "extraordinary and unfounded" claim about doctors trying to profit off of coronavirus deaths, the doctors are issuing a mass condemnation. "The suggestion that doctors—in the midst of a public health crisis—are overcounting COVID-19 patients or lying to line their pockets is a malicious, outrageous, and completely misguided charge," Susan Bailey, president of the American Medical Association, says in a statement. Other reax here. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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