Jason Miller, a senior campaign consultant and key spokesman for Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, did not discredit the president’s unsubstantiated claims about U.S. health care workers inflating COVID-19 deaths – even under constant pressure.
“Why does the president repeatedly attack doctors working on the front lines, claiming they inflate the COVID numbers,” George Stephanopoulos, host of the ABC edition of This Week, asked during a Sunday morning interview with Miller. The moderator’s question followed months of similar comments from Trump critics from all areas of politics and public health.
While the United States is struggling with the consequences of an ongoing pandemic, many have denounced the president’s attempts to contradict scientific reports on COVID-19, usually with unsubstantiated claims that undermine the experts’ recommendations and lead the public to doubt the prevailing advice on health.
“I don’t think he attacked anyone,” Miller told Stephanopoulos on Sunday, referring to Trump’s remarks at a campaign rally in Waterford Township, Michigan, on Friday. In a speech to a crowd of supporters, the president said that doctors “get more money when someone dies” from COVID-19.
@GStephanopoulos repeatedly urges Jason Miller to address Trump’s false claims about doctors and COVID-19: Why does he “repeatedly attack doctors who are working on the front line?
Miller: âI don’t believe he has attacked anyone at all. â
G.S: âWe all just saw it.â https://t.co/2zxeV2Igly pic.twitter.com/LRqnhdMDk6
– ABC News Policy (@ABC Policy) November 1, 2020
“I think he was talking about how most Americans want to safely reopen the country, get back to work and lead normal lives again,” Miller continued, before the morning show host turned on to remind him that “we all just saw” Trump announce his claims during Friday’s campaign rally.
“He was talking about doctors who inflated COVID deaths for money,” said Stephanopoulous, repeating the President’s remarks to those attending the meeting. Trump’s advisor said he would “not address the billing aspects” of COVID-19 medical treatments, but mentioned unspecified reports that “have raised questions… regarding billing and such things.
Anita Dunn, the chief strategist for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, told Stephanopoulos that she was “amazed” at Miller’s failure to defend health care workers when she appeared later in the Sunday morning ABC edition of This Week.
Trump’s claim that health care professionals are taking financial advantage of the falsehoods of COVID-19 sparked a wave of backlash, with many voices indicating that there is no evidence for what he said.
In a statement released after the Michigan rally, the American Medical Association (AMA) also noted that “our leaders should follow the science and press for compliance with public health measures known to us that are designed to curb the spread of #COVID19.
Rather than attacking doctors and making unfounded accusations against them, our leaders should follow the science and press for compliance with public health steps known to us that aim to contain the spread of #COVID19: Hand washing, #MaskUp and physical distance. https://t.co/w2FktcLh2Q
– AMA (@AmerMedicalAssn) October 30, 2020
Meanwhile, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, pointed out the dangers of spreading false information about COVID-19 as cases, hospitalizations and deaths increase in the United States. On Sunday, Evers discussed Trump’s impact on Wisconsin residents’ approach to contain the virus on CNN’s State of the Union, Evers said: “Some people don’t take [steps to protect their health]because they listen to Donald Trump. Wear a mask, stay socially aloof, all that stuff we know works”.
Tekk.tv asked the Trump campaign for further comments, but did not receive a response in time for publication.