President Donald Trump defied logic at his Michigan rally Friday, claiming that physicians “get more money” when they falsely inflate the number of COVID-19 deaths.
And he repeated a story earlier at a Wisconsin rally that, when asked by a friend recently to name someone more famous than he is, the only name Trump could come up with was Jesus Christ. The crowd went wild.
Trump falsely insisted to his Michigan crowd that reports of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. inflate the actual toll because doctors, for some reason, collect more money from coronavirus fatalities — so they lie about them to boost the numbers.
“You know, in Germany, if you have a bad heart and you’re ready to die, or if you have cancer and you’re going to be dying soon, and you catch COVID ... we mark it down to COVID. Our doctors get more money if somebody dies of COVID,” Trump said. “With us, when in doubt, choose COVID.”
The U.S. has suffered more than a quarter of a million COVID-19 deaths, and cases are soaring to new records in a number of states. The total number of deaths this year is about 300,000 over the average, according to data, indicating that COVID-19 deaths have actually been higher than reported.
Dr. Anthony Fauci testified before Congress in May that deaths from COVID-19 are “almost certainly higher” than reported. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said many victims die at home without a diagnosis and aren’t counted in the statistics.
Trump: You know our doctors get more money if somebody dies from COVID pic.twitter.com/HBSTvXcdnh
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) October 30, 2020
Health care workers and relatives lashed out at Trump’s accusation.
My daughter is an MD at a major hospital on the East Coast.
She’s dedicated to helping others stay healthy.
Unlike this POS, she’s not thinking about the next scam.
Over 1000 healthcare workers have died from the out of control COVID-19 his criminal negligence caused.
— Christopher C. Alberto (@ChrisAlbertoLaw) October 30, 2020
As a doctor I struggle when someone I care for dies.
I struggle if I did everything possible.
I struggle to talk with their family.
I struggle with my own mortality and mental health.
I DO NOT struggle to maximize my billing,
POTUS you are evil to accuse me of this. It hurts.
— Stephen H Anderson MD (@ACEPSteve) October 30, 2020
Claiming doctors make money from Americans dying of Covid is up there with the worst lies Trump has ever spouted.
— Nina Lakhani (@ninalakhani) October 30, 2020
As for comparing himself to Jesus Christ, Trump explained that he demurred when a pal told him he was the most famous man in the world. Asked to name anyone more famous, the one Trump named was Jesus.
Umm... Jesus was a socialist. Just saying
— Lynn Schmitt (@LSchmitt50) October 30, 2020
All that soothes my soul is the amazing proverb
"Pride goes before a fall"
— Erin (voted for Biden) 💙💙💙🌊🌊🌊#BlueWave (@LWitchgirl) October 30, 2020
Looking for that bolt of lightning.
— Karen J. Guisbert (@KboothbyJ) October 30, 2020
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.