Dr. Craig Spencer, the director of Global Health in Emergency Medicine at Columbia University, defend his colleagues on Sunday night after President Donald Trump attacked the university for discovering that tens of thousands of American lives could’ve been saved had action on COVID-19 been taken sooner in March.
“For months, me & my colleagues at Columbia University’s medical center have treated thousands of #COVID19 patients,” Spencer tweeted. “Every one with dignity. Never disgracefully.”
The doctor linked to the Washington Post op-ed he’d written in April about doctors’ sacrifices in treating COVID-19 patients.
“I still choke up when I read it,” he tweeted. “We are not disgraceful.”
Trump bashed Columbia after its researchers found in a study that approximately 36,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. could’ve been prevented by May 2 if social distancing measures had been put in place a week sooner on March 1.
“Columbia’s a liberal, disgraceful institution to write that,” he told “Full Measure” host Sharyl Attkisson in a pre-taped interview.
The President accused the university of “playing right to their little group of people that tell them what to do” without specifying who exactly he was referring to.
The death toll from the outbreak in the U.S. had reached nearly 98,000 by Monday morning, per John Hopkins University.
Correction: The original post erroneously stated the COVID-19 death toll reported by John Hopkins was close to 78,000. The correction number is 98,000.