Biden adviser Anita Dunn later said she was “astonished” that Miller would back the president’s attacks rather than defend frontline doctors.

Published Nov. 01, 2020 10:53AM ET ABC News

ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos repeatedly pressed Trump campaign advisor Jason Miller on Sunday morning over President Donald Trump’s baseless claims that doctors “get more money” from coronavirus deaths, prompting Miller to back the president’s claims by citing “independent things pointing to that.”

Continuing to hammer away at his closing argument that the country is “rounding the corner” on the pandemic despite record-setting daily infections, Trump accused American doctors of profiting from the crisis by purposely overcounting coronavirus deaths during a campaign rally late last week.

“Our doctors get more money if someone dies from COVID. You know that, right?” Trump exclaimed. “So what they do is, they say, ‘I’m sorry, but, you know, everybody dies of COVID.’ But in Germany and other places, if you have a heart attack, or you have cancer, you’re terminally ill, you catch COVID, they say you died of cancer, you died of a heart attack. With us, when in doubt, choose COVID.”

The evidence-free attack by the president was met with a scathing rebuke by the American Medical Association, who called Trump’s remarks “malicious, outrageous, and completely misguided” while adding that he “should be following the science and urging adherence to the public health steps we know work.”

Interviewing Miller on Sunday’s broadcast of ABC’s This Week, Stephanopoulos recapped the president’s inflammatory comments—which also featured Trump baselessly asserting doctors get “like $2,000 more” for COVID diagnoses—before confronting the Trump adviser with the AMA’s response.

“Why does the president repeatedly attack doctors on the front lines saying they are inflating COVID numbers?” Stephanopoulos wondered aloud.

“I don't think he was attacking anybody at all,” Miller insisted. “I think he was talking about how most Americans want to safely and securely re-open the country. Get back to work, get back to life as normal.”

The ABC anchor quickly fired back, pointing out that “we all just saw it” and that Trump was directly talking about doctors inflating the number of coronavirus deaths for money.

“George, I’m not going to get into the billing aspects of which there have been many reports on, there have been all sorts of independent things pointing to that,” Miller responded. “The fact of the matter is people want their life back to normal. They're tired of the lockdowns. Look at Democrat-run states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. People are tired of the lockdowns.”

“You're repeating that,” Stephanopoulus shot back. “You believe doctors are inflating COVID deaths for money?”

Miller, meanwhile, once again claimed—without evidence—that there are a “number of reports raised out there” that show are doctors overcounting deaths for profit.

In a subsequent interview with Stephanopoulos, Biden campaign adviser Anita Dunn said she was “astonished” that Miller wouldn’t defend the doctors who are on the frontlines battling the pandemic.

“It tells you everything you need to know about the difference between the Trump campaign and the Biden campaign and between Donald Trump and Joe Biden,” she added. “Joe Biden respects the frontline workers. He respects doctors. He respects Dr. Fauci. He listens to the scientists.”

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