THE US’S top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, has hit out at President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign for taking his words out of context in a new advert.
In the campaign ad, Dr Fauci is made to appear as if he is praising the President’s handling of the coronavirus.
The video, which was released on Saturday, includes a clip from an interview with the immunologist in which he can be heard saying “I can’t imagine that … anyone could be doing more” during a segment talking about Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
More than more than 7.7 million people in the US have been infected with Covid-19 and over 214,000 Americans have died.
The remarks stemmed from an interview with Fox News in which Dr Fauci was describing the work he and the members of the White House coronavirus task force had undertaken to respond to the virus.
Evidently angered by the use of the remarks in reference to Trump’s efforts, Dr Fauci issued a statement to CNN condemning their use.
“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate,” he said.
“The comments attributed to me without my permission in the [Republican] campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials.”
Trump campaign ads are now featuring misleading quotes from Fauci making it seem as though he endorses the White House’s coronavirus response pic.twitter.com/Vgd44nsren
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 11, 2020
Despite Dr Fauci’s remarks, Trump’s communication director Tim Murtaugh has stood by the quotes featured in the adverts and will continue to run them.
The Trump campaign said it would not stop running the adverts.
“These are Dr Fauci’s own words,” he said. “The video is from a nationally broadcast television interview in which Dr Fauci was praising the work of the Trump administration.
“The words are accurate and directly from Dr Fauci’s mouth.”
Once a regular at White House’s coronavirus press briefings, Dr Fauci has stopped attending the meetings after clashing with Trump over his approach to the virus.
The President, for his part, has also taken aim at the immunologist, telling Fox News that he was “a nice man, but he made a lot of mistakes”.