Friday, October 30, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He accused people who risk their lives to treat COVID-19 patients of lying for money.

At a Michigan campaign event today, Trump said doctors were falsifying the cause of death for their patients in order to get money earmarked for COVID-19 care from the government. 

Our doctors get more money if someone dies from COVID. You know that, right? I mean our doctors are very smart people. So what they do is they say "I'm sorry but everybody dies of COVID."

...In Germany and other places, if you have a heart attack, or if you have cancer, you're terminally ill, you catch COVID, they say you die of cancer, you died of heart attack. With us, when in doubt choose COVID. It's true, no, it's true. Now they'll say 'oh that's terrible what he said,' but that's true. It's like $2,000 more so you get more money.

Every part of this is a lie.

It can often be difficult to tell when Trump genuinely believes a conspiracy theory, or is simply lying because he thinks his audience will approve of it. But in this case, Trump's genuine—and very legitimate—fears about dying from COVID-19 are well known. He told reporter Bob Woodward in February how serious he understood the disease was, although he then lied to the American public about it. 

And when Trump became seriously ill himself, he immediately became anxious and begged aides for reassurance. "Am I going out like Stan Chera?" he asked, referring to an acquaintance who had died from it in April.

Trump's slim hopes of re-election hinge on convincing voters that 230,000 Americans haven't really died due to his handling of the U.S. outbreak. (Actually, that number misses a great many deaths. 300,000 more Americans have died this year than would be expected statistically.) 

Selling that position has led him to tell crowds—at rallies that are themselves disease vectors— that COVID-19 "affects virtually nobody."

An estimated 1,700 health care workers have died from COVID-19 themselves.

So what?

  • Even by Trump's standards, this is a breathtakingly shitty thing to say.