ACP: Falsely Accusing Physicians of Overcounting COVID-19 Deaths For Financial Gain is Reprehensible

Statement attributable to:
Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, MACP
President, American College of Physicians

Philadelphia, PA (October 25, 2020) – The American College of Physicians (ACP), on behalf of internal medicine physicians (internists) and related subspecialists, says that statements, including by President Trump, falsely accusing physicians of attributing deaths to COVID-19 for financial gain represent a reprehensible attack on physicians’ ethics and professionalism. 

Internists and other frontline physicians play an essential role in caring for patients and saving lives during this global public health emergency, often without sufficient personal protective equipment and while putting their own lives at risk. To suggest that physicians would misstate the cause of death for financial gain is false, and represents a reprehensible attack on our profession and ethics.

ACP notes that several recent studies suggest that the actual number of people who have died from COVID-19 is much higher than the terrible toll of 220,000 deaths officially attributed to the virus.  Alleging that COVID-19 deaths instead are overcounted undermines the work by physicians and public health authorities to remind the public of the seriousness of the pandemic and to recommend steps to reduce transmission of the virus, cases, and deaths.

ACP has been aggressively advocating on behalf of internists and their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic to support their need for adequate PPE, for appropriate funding and payments to help sustain their practices so they can continue to provide patient care, and has called for following evidence-based science in fighting the pandemic. In reality, many internists and other physicians are struggling financially during this time but continue to put themselves and their families and loved ones at risk in the name of their profession and duty to their patients and communities.  


Media Contact: Laura Baldwin, American College of Physicians,, 215-351-2668


About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 163,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on TwitterFacebookand Instagram.