ER Doctor Responds To Donald Trump’s COVID-19 Death Lies

A particularly harmful lie that has circulated during this pandemic is the notion that doctors are falsely labeling patients as COVID-19 deaths, because they get paid more for those. On Friday, Donald Trump repeated this lie at a rally in Michigan, prompting a response from an ER doctor in New York.

Donald Trump COVID-19 lie called out
[Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]

Dr. Craig Spencer’s experience speaks for itself — his bio notes that he divides his time between clinical work and public health efforts, and his epidemiology experience includes work in Africa and Southeast Asia. He was elected to the Board of Directors for Doctors Without Borders USA in 2019, and serves as Director of Global Health in Emergency Medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

On Friday he called out Donald Trump’s repetition of a well-debunked lie, making it clear that if doctors were really falsifying COVID-19 deaths, they would lose their medical licenses and potentially face criminal charges and prison.

“We’re not liars. We’re exhausted,” he said. “And we continue to lose colleagues because you failed to respond.”

It’s not the first time Donald Trump has spouted this lie, nor the first time he’s been corrected. Forbes reported earlier this week, after Trump made similar false claims in Wisconsin, that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, and the American College of Emergency Physicians had all responded, all calling out the lie.

Med Page Today also reported on the false claims, pointing out that a study showed 220k excess deaths, statistically speaking, in the U.S. this year, more than 2/3 of those COVID-related.

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