“I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate.”
Oct 11, 2020
(CNN) Dr. Anthony Fauci did not consent to being featured in a new ad from the Trump campaign touting President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Instead, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert told CNN his words were taken out of context.
“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate. 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 said in a statement provided exclusively to CNN when asked if he agreed to be featured in the ad.
The Trump campaign released the new ad last week after the President was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center following treatment for Covid-19.
The 30-second ad, which is airing in Michigan, touts Trump’s personal experience with the virus and uses a quote from Fauci in an attempt to make it appear as if he is praising Trump’s response.
“President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus, and so is America,” the ad’s narrator says. “Together we rose to meet the challenge, protecting our seniors, getting them life-saving drugs in record time, sparing no expense.”
The ad then flashes to an interview with Fauci in which he says, “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”
Though no date is provided in the ad, Fauci’s quote is from an interview with Fox News in March.
During that interview, Fauci praised the White House coronavirus task force’s round-the-clock effort to respond to the pandemic, which he says included numerous White House meetings and late-night phone calls.
“We’ve never had a threat like this. The coordinated response has been…There are a number of adjectives to describe it — impressive, I think is one of them. We’re talking about all hands on deck. I, as one of many people on a team, I’m not the only person,” Fauci said at the time … Read more.