Dr Fauci says his words were ‘taken out of context’ and used without permission in new Trump campaign ad that shows him praising the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic
- Dr Fauci said the Trump campaign did not ask permission to use him in a new ad
- The ad includes a clip of Fauci appearing to praise the president for his response to the coronavirus pandemic
- Fauci on Sunday said his comments ‘were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago’
Dr Anthony Fauci has revealed he did not give the Trump campaign permission to feature him in a new ad that appears to show him endorsing the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert on Sunday spoke out against the commercial that began airing last week following the president’s stint in hospital after he tested positive for COVID-19.
The 30-second clip cites Trump’s personal experience with the virus before cutting to a video of Fauci apparently praising his response.
The 30-second campaign ad includes a clip of Dr Fauci (pictured) appearing to praise Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic
President Trump (pictured with Faui in May) released the ad last week following his three-day stint in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19
‘President Trump tackled the virus head on, as leaders should,’ the ad says.
Fauci is then shown saying: ‘I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more,’ creating the impression he is referring to Trump.
The ad goes on to urge Americans to ‘live carefully, but not afraid,’ in an apparent reference to Trump’s message to the country last week, telling people not to be scared of the virus.
Fauci, one of the leading members of the White House coronavirus task force, confirmed his words were taken out of context from a statement he made in March.
‘In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate,’ he said in a statement to CNN.
‘The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials.’
Fauci’s comments were made during an interview with Fox News in March, when the doctor applauded the task force’s coordinated response at the beginning of the deadly outbreak.
The complete clip shows Fauci saying: ‘I have been devoting almost full time on this. I’m down at the White House virtually every day with the task force.
‘It’s every single day. So, I can’t imagine that under any circumstances that anybody could be doing more.’
As a leading member of the White House task force on the coronavirus, the 79-year-old doctor has frequently had to walk a fine line in attempting to clarify – or correct – the president’s often incautious assertions about the disease or the treatments and vaccines being developed against Covid-19.
Fauci has at times aroused Trump’s ire, as when the president in April retweeted a message containing the hashtag #FireFauci — before publicly insisting the doctor was doing a great job.