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 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,’ Fauci 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.’
The 30-second campaign ad, which began airing last week, cites Trump’s personal experience with the virus and includes a clip of Fauci appearing to praise the president for his response to the pandemic.
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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 is recovering from the coronavirus, and so is America. Together we rose to meet the challenge,’ the ad says.
‘I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more,’ Fauci is shown as saying, creating the clear impression he is referring to Trump.
But a complete clip of Fauci’s comments, made during an interview in March with Fox News, shows the doctor 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.
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