Trump makes baseless statements about pandemic in home stretch as Covid cases rise


“Our doctors are very smart people. So what they do is they say, “I’m sorry but everyone is dying from Covid,” Trump said at a rally in Waterford Township, Michigan on Friday. Digging up conspiracy theories in the bowels of the internet, the president claimed without any evidence that doctors in other countries list underlying illnesses as the cause of death, while US doctors choose the coronavirus.

“With us, when in doubt – choose Covid,” Trump said. “Now they’ll say ‘Oh that’s terrible what he said,’ but it’s true. It’s like $ 2,000 more, so you get more money. “

Campaigning with Biden in Michigan on Saturday, former President Barack Obama sharply criticized Trump’s comments about the doctors – and incredulously that the attack was part of the president’s final argument.“He’s jealous of the media coverage of Covid and now he’s accusing doctors of taking advantage of this pandemic – think about it,” Obama said. “He can’t understand, he doesn’t understand the idea that someone would risk their life to save others without trying to make money. ”

“If Trump was focused on Covid from the start, cases would not reach new records across the country,” Obama added, noting that some areas where Trump has held rallies have seen spikes in cases “after he left. of the city ”and mocking. Trump’s “obsession” with crowd size in the midst of a pandemic.

“You know, when a country goes through a pandemic, that’s not what you’re supposed to worry about,” Obama said. “And this is the difference between Joe Biden and Trump. Trump cares about feeding his ego. Joe cares about protecting you and your family. And he’s less interested in feeding his ego with large crowds than in making sure he’s wrong. around making more and more people sick. This is what you should expect from a president. ”

During his first stopover in Pennsylvania on Saturday, Trump continued to downplay the impact of the coronavirus on the nation, noting that he and First Lady Melania Trump have recovered – without acknowledging that they had received top-notch medical attention. quality of the country and that it had been accessed. to experimental treatments that are not available to most Americans.

Underestimating the serious risk of the virus for Americans with pre-existing conditions, Trump falsely claimed that “due to our relentless efforts, the current recovery rate on Covid, or the Chinese virus, or the Chinese plague, is 99. , 7%, ”Trump said. using a racist term to describe the virus.

Not only has Trump ignored the thousands of Americans who have died from the virus, there is not yet enough data to understand the long-term consequences for patients who contracted the disease. Trump, who has pledged to “end” the virus with “breakthrough science, medicine and therapies,” also criticized Biden’s relentless focus on Covid-19 during his visit to Pennsylvania on Saturday.

“All he does is talk about Covid, Covid,” Trump said of Biden in Bucks County. “He has nothing more to say… We agree this is serious and we have done an incredible job. And at some point, they’ll recognize it. ”

Trump’s claims about profiteering doctors sparked a backlash beyond the election campaign. Susan Bailey, president of the American Medical Association, said in a statement that the claim that doctors overestimate patients with Covid-19 or “lie to line their pockets is a malicious, scandalous and completely wrong accusation.” .

“Covid-19 cases are at record levels today,” Bailey said, Friday marking the highest case day in the United States since the start of the pandemic. “Rather than attacking us and making baseless accusations against the doctors, our leaders should follow the science and urge to adhere to the public health steps we know: wear a mask, wash your hands and practice physical distancing.

Emergency physician and former Baltimore health commissioner Dr Leana Wen told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday night that doctors were risking their lives at a time when a person was diagnosed with Covid-19 every second.

“We have an American who dies from coronavirus every two minutes, and that number is increasing,” Wen said in “The Situation Room”. “In some states, one in two people who get tested test positive. This means that we don’t do enough testing, and every person who tests positive is a canary in a coal mine.

Wen added that there will likely be “many more dozen more cases that we are not detecting, and the escalation will increase in the coming weeks.”

Trump opposes country’s Covid-19 target

Trump’s angry tone of rallies and his attacks on medics stem in part from his frustration that the country was so focused on the pandemic in the closing days of the election. Poll after poll has shown that the coronavirus is the number one issue on the minds of American voters and a large majority of the electorate disapproves of Trump’s handling of the virus.

While Trump has been successful in organizing large rallies in other states, Minnesota has been particularly vigilant in both law enforcement and contact tracing, and Trump on Friday criticized Minnesota officials who have reduced the size of its gathering due to security concerns.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported three outbreaks of Covid-19 linked to Trump campaign events held in the state in September. The state health department has linked at least 23 cases to Trump campaign rallies with the president in Bemidji and Duluth and a rally with Vice President Mike Pence in Minneapolis, according to information the department provided to CNN in an email last week.

But dismissing the security concerns as irrelevant, Trump argued that state officials, including Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a Democrat, have created two sets of standards – one for protesters who have demonstrated against police brutality after the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. and a different set for his supporters.

“Keith Ellison has sided with extremists who burn the flag at the expense of law-abiding Americans. He treats you like second-class citizens, ”Trump said in Rochester, Minnesota on Friday night, where state officials limited the crowd to 250. “He thinks pro-American voters have fewer rights than anti-American protesters. ”

As part of this argument, Trump has once again confused the Black Lives Matter protests, which were largely peaceful across the country this year, with the much smaller number of protests that turned violent and served as a foil. helpful as he tries to argue that Biden would. pampering criminals while promoting what he described as “vile anti-police rhetoric.”

Speaking in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul, Biden rebutted this argument by focusing on the difference between peaceful protesters and violent agitators who took advantage of this year’s racial justice movement.

“Burning and looting is not protest, it is clear and simple violence – and will not be tolerated,” Biden said at his event, which he said was seven miles from where Floyd was killed by a policeman. “But these protests are a call for justice. ”

The former vice president argued that Trump’s divisive language on the protests and his efforts to pit Americans “against each other on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity and national origin Were part of an effort to divert attention from its handling of the pandemic.

During his last event of the day in Milwaukee, Biden noted that the state is now experiencing a record high level of hospitalizations for coronavirus.

“This week, Wisconsin, like other states, set a new record for daily cases. Hospitals are running out of beds, they just had to open a field hospital. This is what we are up against. We have now reached 9 million cases, ”Biden said Friday night. “Millions of people without work; at the limit and they can’t see the light. They don’t know how dark he’s going to stay… and what bothers me the most is a president who has given up. “


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