LANSING, Mich. – Today, dozens of Michigan physicians called on Vice President Mike Pence to stop spreading medically inaccurate information about COVID-19 because Americans are relying on the White House task force that he leads for reliable fact- and science-based information. Pence is visiting a Sterling Heights steel manufacturing plant and dining at a local restaurant on Thursday.
In a letter, the physicians on the Committee to Protect Medicare called on Pence to stop taking a “victory lap” for Michigan’s success in reducing the rate of infections. Michigan and New York are the only two states with infection rates low enough to be on track to contain the coronavirus. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration acted aggressively early in the pandemic to curb COVID-19 spread despite political pressure, including attacks from President Trump and armed protests in the state Capitol in Lansing.
“As Michigan physicians, we call on Vice President Mike Pence to use his visit to Sterling Heights, Mich., on Thursday to publicly apologize for asking governors to lie about the true scope and magnitude of new outbreaks sweeping across many states in recent weeks,” the physicians said in the letter. “Mr. Pence’s misinformation is an apparent attempt to change the facts so they fit the Trump Administration’s politically-driven preferred narrative. The Trump Administration has repeatedly called for the economy to reopen, even at the height of the pandemic when nearly all state governors prudently chose to implement and extend stay-at-home orders to protect public health and save American lives.”
In a phone call this week with some governors, Pence asked them to falsely say that increases in coronavirus positive cases are the result of increased testing. In fact, seven-day averages in several states with coronavirus outbreaks have increased since May 31.
“Spreading medically inaccurate information and trying to fool people will not make the COVID-19 pandemic magically go away,” CTP Executive Director and Michigan emergency physician Rob Davidson, MD, said. “President Trump and Vice President Pence have a responsibility to Americans to keep them safe during a pandemic that has killed 117,000 Americans and continues to ravage communities across the country. President Trump and Vice President Pence must stop twisting the facts because public health and people’s lives are at stake.”
“Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her public health experts are doing the difficult science-based work that the Trump Administration has refused to do, and that’s a huge reason why Michigan is reducing infection rates compared with other states,” said Farhan Bhatti, MD, Michigan state lead for the Committee to Protect Medicare and a family physician. “Health professionals are working tirelessly to tell the families we serve they should continue social distancing and wearing a mask to reduce infections because this pandemic is far from over. Yet Vice President Pence and President Trump continue to send the opposite message that ignores facts and science and that will only lead to more infections, more lockdowns and more death and sickness.”
About the Committee to Protect Medicare
The Committee to Protect Medicare is an advocacy organization made up of frontline doctors engaging in direct advocacy and communications in support of a stronger healthcare system in America. To learn more: https://committeetoprotect.org/
*The physicians below are speaking in their capacity as members of the Committee to Protect Medicare and should be identified only as indicated in this news release.
**FOR 1×1 MEDIA INTERVIEWS: Dr. Rob Davidson, Committee to Protect Medicare executive director, and Dr. Farhan Bhatti, CTP Michigan state lead, are available for interviews via phone or virtually.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 18, 2020
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