The Donald Trump presidency will be remembered for its handling of COVID-19, the single most devastating crisis of his four years in office, and what will be most remembered is the lies and excuses the president has tried to use to cover his own incompetence. When hospitals ran low on critical personal protective equipment, it wasn’t Trump’s fault, it was because the nurses and other medical workers who risked their lives to treat patients during a pandemic were selling masks out the back door onto the black market. When a stimulus package was desperately needed, it wasn’t the Republicans fault it didn’t happen, it was Democrats wanting a “bailout” for “badly run Democratic cities.” And when the rate of infection soared once again just prior to Election Day, Trump blamed greedy doctors.
TRUMP: “You know, our doctors get more money if someone dies from COVID, you know that right?”
Beyond reprehensible. pic.twitter.com/k5wuLDZOrz
— Tim Hogan (@timjhogan) October 30, 2020
At a rally in Michigan on Friday, Donald Trump told the crowd that doctors are paid more for treating patients with COVID-19 (which is not true) and that there are mass conspiracies in hospitals involving doctors who report everything from a flu death to the death of an airplane crash victim as a death from the coronavirus so they can rake in the dough.
‘Our doctors get more money if somebody dies from COVID. 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’…when in doubt, choose COVID. It’s true.’
President Trump pushed a baseless conspiracy theory at one of his rallies in Michigan, claiming that "our doctors get more money if somebody dies from Covid." CNN's Jim Acosta reports. https://t.co/YlbgGo7qJT pic.twitter.com/oB7qnKUQ3x
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) October 30, 2020
In response, the American Medical Association released a statement, reminding the country and its president that doctors and other medical personnel are on the frontlines of this dangerous pandemic and that attacks on them are misguided and Trump’s claims are just blatantly untrue.
‘Throughout this pandemic, physicians, nurses, and frontline health care workers have risked their health, their safety and their lives to treat their patients and defeat a deadly virus. They did it because duty called and because of the sacred oath they took. 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.’
Biden in Minnesota: "The president of the United States is accusing the medical profession of making up COVID deaths so they make more money. Doctors and nurses go to work every day to save lives. They do their jobs. Donald Trump should stop attacking them and do his job."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 30, 2020
Trump’s outrageous claims are no more than an attempt to deny his own responsibility for a failed COVID-19 response, a responsibility he refuses to take and is happy to lie about in order to get reelected. Never mind that 225,000 Americans are dead, according to him, none of that is Trump’s responsibility. Instead, it’s greedy doctors and shifty nurses who are to blame. The AMA was having none of it.
‘COVID-19 cases are at record highs today. Rather than attacking us and lobbing baseless charges at physicians, our leaders should be following the science and urging adherence to the public health steps we know work—wearing a mask, washing hands and practicing physical distancing.’
"If I have to stay late after working, if it means doing it on my day off. They're not going to pass alone on my unit…None of them," Joey Traywick, a registered nurse, said.
Traywick said he’s personally held hands with 23 patients who have died. https://t.co/8tXwYjVpO6
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 31, 2020