No, Mr. President, We Doctors Are Not Faking Covid Deaths

Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

Last week, in the final days of the campaign, and making his closing argument for a second term, President Donald Trump said this at one of his rallies:

You know our doctors get more money if somebody dies from Covid. With us, when in doubt, choose Covid.

How dare you, Sir?

Over these past eight months, we on the front lines have witnessed truly horrible things. We have seen death and destruction on a scale like nothing else we have seen in our careers. We have placed our own lives — and those of our families — on the line taking care of the myriad patients who have been afflicted by this disease (including, by the way, the doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center).

How dare you accuse us of faking Covid deaths for “more money”? That is not what we do. I have signed dozens of death certificates after patients died of Covid-19, and I have also signed death certificates of patients who did not have Covid. Never — not even once — did I think about putting down Covid-19 as a cause of death when the patient was free of Covid. Never even once.

We don’t have time to worry about inflating deaths from Covid to “make the President look bad.” We don’t have time to think about “faking a death certificate” for political reasons. We are too focused on doing all that we can to help our patients survive Covid-19. And if they can’t survive, then we are focused on making sure they have a good death.

After everything we have gone through in this pandemic, this baseless accusation was particularly infuriating. The staggering number of deaths from Covid-19 in this country — over 230,000 — is due to a staggering failure by our leadership to control this pandemic. It has absolutely nothing to do with doctors “faking Covid deaths.”

How dare you, Sir? How dare you?

NY Times featured Pulmonary and Critical Care Specialist | Physician Leader | Author and Blogger | His latest book is “Code Blue,” a medical thriller.

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