“Fox News Sunday” host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceChris Wallace: Democrats ‘would need a blue wave’ to take back Senate Biden, Trump pen dueling Fox News op-eds Trump calls Fox ‘disappointing’ for airing Obama speech MORE pressed Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiSunday shows preview: The final push to Election Day Pence travel questioned after aides test positive Lewandowski: Trump ‘wants to see every Republican reelected regardless of … if they break with the president’ MORE on Sunday about an unfounded conspiracy theory promoted by President TrumpDonald John TrumpPoll: Trump leads Biden by 7 points in Iowa Biden campaign cancels event in Texas after pro-Trump cars surrounded its bus Obama shooting three pointer while campaigning for Biden goes viral MORE that doctors are artificially inflating COVID-19 numbers for financial benefit.
“I haven’t seen that evidence but we have seen on multiple occasions instances where people have claimed that they have died from COVID-19 and that wasn’t the case,” Lewandowski, a senior Trump campaign aide, said. “I think we’re categorizing individuals who may have COVID but aren’t dying from that and claiming it as a COVID death, which is not accurate.”
Wallace pushed back, saying: “We’re talking specifically about the president claiming that doctors are inflating the number of COVID deaths … it’s a pretty serious thing to say about the nation’s doctors.”
The host also noted that research has indicated the number of deaths from the virus is likely undercounted.
“We have enormous respect for doctors who are serving the frontline patients and they do an amazing job by and large,” Lewandowski responded.
Trump made the claim without evidence at a rally in Michigan on Friday.
“Our doctors get more money if somebody 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.'”
The president’s conspiracy theory drew a swift rebuke last week from American Medical Association President Susan Bailey.
“The suggestion that doctors—in the midst of a public health crisis—are overcounting COVID-19 patients or lying to line their pockets is a malicious, outrageous, and completely misguided charge,” Bailey said in a statement Friday.
“Rather than attacking us and lobbing baseless charges at physicians, our leaders should be following the science and urging adherence to the public health steps we know work—wearing a mask, washing hands and practicing physical distancing,” Bailey added.