Speed Reads

absolutely not true

Trump wildly claims doctors are profiting off COVID-19 deaths

President Trump has a disturbing and downright false explanation for why America's coronavirus deaths are continuing to rise.

While rallying in Michigan on Friday, Trump once again took aim at the U.S.'s coronavirus case and death counts, which are indisputably the highest in the world. But Trump didn't quite get the indisputable part of all that, claiming that doctors are only driving up death counts to make money.

A lot of COVID-19 deaths have also been attributed to other causes, or comorbidities, which some have taken to mean they aren't real COVID-19 deaths. Trump purported Friday that in Germany, those comorbidity deaths aren't treated as COVID-19 — which isn't true; Germany just had a very effective testing plan to curb coronavirus spread.

But in the U.S., "our doctors get more money if somebody dies from COVID," Trump said to nods and agreement from the crowd. So doctors apparently claim "everybody dies of COVID-19" to drive numbers up, Trump said, with no proof whatsoever — and to the disgust of doctors who heard it.

Early in the pandemic, hospitals did receive more money from an insurer or Medicare if they were treating a person with COVID-19 — it was part of the coronavirus relief legislation Trump signed. But doctors are most definitely not trying to boost their paychecks as they fight a deadly, super contagious pandemic, the American Medical Association made clear. Kathryn Krawczyk