In an exclusive to CNN, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he did not give permission to being featured in a new advertisement for the Trump campaign pushing Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Fauci wants it known that he was taken out of context in the new campaign ad, “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 his statement.
Last week, after Trump was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for his coronavirus diagnosis, the Trump campaign released the 30-second ad—which is airing in Michigan, tout’s Trump’s personal experience with COVID-19 and uses excepts statements from Fauci to make it seem as if the doctor applauded 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.” Now, this is where it gets sketchy, the ad then flashes to an interview where Dr. Fauci says, “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”
The clip of Dr. Fauci was extracted from his March interview with Fox News when he praised the White House coronavirus task force’s around the clock efforts to act against the pandemic.
The new ad did not include the March date when it was inserted, which makes it highly likely that people will be misled to believe Dr. Fauci was touting Trump, which wouldn’t be a surprising tactic used by Trump and his campaign team.
“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. “Since the beginning, that we even recognized what this was, 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.”
The other issue of this fabricated message is that it uses a voice trusted by voters, speculating that Trump’s new ad was a political move. The celebrity-commander-in-chief has privately and publicly compared Fauci’s approval with his own. At the end of July, Trump publicly questioned why Fauci’s approval ratings soared, and his were low.
“It’s interesting: he’s got a very good approval rating. And I like that, it’s good,” Trump said. “Because remember: he’s working for this administration. He’s working with us. We could have gotten other people. We could have gotten somebody else. It didn’t have to be Dr. Fauci. He’s working with our administration. And for the most part, we’ve done what he and others — and Dr. (Deborah) Birx and others — have recommended.”
Trump continued: “And he’s got this high approval rating. So why don’t I have a high approval rating with respect — and the administration — with respect to the virus? We should have it very high.”
ABC News Sunday, Jon Karl, said he requested an interview with the doctor—an offer Fauci agreed to do, but the White House blocked the appearance.