President Donald Trump is once again suggesting that doctors may be helping inflate the Covid-19 death count in order to, drum roll please, make more money.
The real estate mogul turned President repeated the conspiracy theory during a campaign rally on Friday in Michigan.
“Our doctors get more money if someone dies from Covid. You know that, right? I mean, our doctors are very smart people,” Trump told the crowd.
"Our doctors get more money if someone dies from Covid. You know that, right? I mean, our doctors are very smart people." — Trump pushes a baseless conspiracy that greedy American health care workers are overcounting coronavirus deaths pic.twitter.com/fsajGTvvN3
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 30, 2020
Trump made a nearly identical claim on Saturday during a campaign rally in Wisconsin.
Trump started his rant by claiming that the Covid-19 death reporting systems in the U.S. are “a little bit backwards.”
He continued: “You know some countries they report differently. If somebody’s sick with a heart problem, and they die of Covid they say they die of a heart problem. If somebody’s terminally ill with cancer and they have Covid, we report them. And you know doctors get more money and hospitals get more money. Think of this incentive.”
Many medical associations and organizations didn’t take too kindly to the implication that physicians have been cooking the books. ACOG, which is not a cog but rather stands for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, tweeted the following:
Science is science & data are data. Doctors have no reason to make up #COVID19 case numbers, & in fact many have died from the virus. It’s irresponsible & dangerous to suggest doctors, incl. #obgyns, have done anything other than bravely battle this pandemic. #NoSpinJustScience
— ACOG (@acog) October 25, 2020
The American Medical Association (AMA) tweeted:
— AMA (@AmerMedicalAssn) October 25, 2020
And 45 different medical and surgical specialty societies issued the following statement:
Speaking with one voice, @CMSSmed w/45 specialty societies, 800,000+ physician members condemn the baseless claim that physicians overcount #COVID19 deaths for financial or political gain. We stand with members tirelessly working to serve patient needshttps://t.co/s3WThSFZZE pic.twitter.com/ZCPMdsrLyf
— Helen Burstin, MD, MPH #DigitalMed2020 (@HelenBurstin) October 25, 2020