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Medical groups: Trump’s attack on doctors on COVID-19 is ‘baseless,’ ‘outrageous’

By: - November 2, 2020 12:14 pm

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Following President Donald Trump’s comments at a Waterford Township rally in which he falsely blamed doctors for inflating COVID-19 case numbers, key national and state physician groups have come out against his rhetoric and condemned the “malicious” remarks.

On Friday, Trump falsely claimed during the event that the country’s rising COVID-19 numbers can be partially attributed to doctors being financially incentivized into categorizing more deaths as COVID-19-related.

“You know, our doctors get more money if somebody dies of COVID,” Trump said. “You know that, right? I mean, our doctors are very smart people. So what they do is they say ‘I’m sorry, but, you know, everybody dies of COVID.’”

In reality, doctors’ pay does not have any correlation to a patient’s cause of death.

As of Saturday, the state of Michigan recorded 178,180 total confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7,340 total deaths. The United States continues to lead globally as the worst countrywide outbreak with more than 9.2 million cases and 231,077 deaths.

“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,” said Susan R. Bailey, president of the American Medical Association (AMA). “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. 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,” Bailey continued.

In an email to the Advance, a spokesperson for the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) said it is “supportive of this statement from the AMA” but does not plan to release an additional statement at this time.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).