At a rally in Michigan on Friday, President Trump repeated an extraordinary and unfounded claim that American doctors were profiting from deaths from coronaviruses.
“You know our doctors get more money if someone dies from Covid,” Mr. Trump said, adding that in Germany and other countries deaths are characterized differently if there appear to be multiple causes.
“With us, when in doubt, choose Covid,” he said.
Health professionals and organizations were quick to speak out against the comments and praised the work of nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers, many of whom have risked their lives and worry about the health of their families as they were caring for people infected with the coronavirus.
“The suggestion that doctors – in the midst of a public health crisis – are surfing Covid-19 patients or lying to line their pockets is a malicious, outrageous and completely wrong accusation,” said Susan R. Bailey, president from the American Medical Association, in a statement Friday.
“Rather than attacking us and making baseless accusations against the doctors, our leaders should follow the science and urge to adhere to the public health steps that we know work – wear a mask, wash your hands and practice physical distancing », She added.
Misleading claims about the swollen coronavirus-related death toll surfaced as early as April.
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Michigan as a third wave of infections spreads across the country. This week, the state saw a 91% increase in new cases compared to the average two weeks earlier.
Mr Trump made a similar false statement about medics at an Oct. 24 campaign rally in Wisconsin – another state that has seen a surge in cases this month – when he said that ” doctors get more money and hospitals get more money ”for the reports. more deaths from coronavirus.
This has elicited negative reactions from organizations such as the Society of Hospital Medicine, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“These baseless claims are not only doing our health heroes a disservice, but promulgating the dangerous wave of disinformation that continues to hamper our country’s efforts to bring the pandemic under control and allow our country to return to normal.” the American College of Emergency Physicians said in a statement Sunday.
During the election campaign, the president often said the virus was disappearing – even as the number of cases skyrocketed – and attacked Democratic governors and other local officials for keeping public health restrictions in place.