“In my nearly five decades in the public service, I have never publicly endorsed a political candidate. The comments attributed to me in the GOP campaign ad without my permission have been taken out of the context of a comprehensive statement I made months ago about the Federal efforts have given up public health officials, “Fauci said in a statement made exclusively to CNN when asked if he agreed to appear on the ad.
“President Trump is recovering from the corona virus, as is America,” said the ad spokesman. “Together we faced the challenge, protected our seniors, got them life-saving medication in record time and spared no expense.”
The ad then shows an interview with Fauci in which he says, “I can’t imagine anyone could do more.”
Although the ad doesn’t include a date, Fauci’s quote is from an interview with Fox News in March. During that interview, Fauci praised the efforts of the White House’s coronavirus task force to respond to the pandemic around the clock, which included numerous White House meetings and nightly phone calls.
“We’ve never faced a threat like this. The coordinated response was … There are a number of adjectives describing it – impressive, I think one of them. We talk about all hands on deck. I As one of many people in I’m not the only person on a team, “said Fauci at the time. “Right from the start, when we even realized what it is, I’ve devoted myself almost entirely to this topic. I’m with the Task Force in the White House practically every day. It’s every day. So I can’t imagine that under any circumstances anyone could do more. “
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The use of Fauci in the new ad seemed to be an acknowledgment from the Trump campaign that the doctor is a voice that voters trust when it comes to the pandemic. Trump has privately and publicly compared Fauci’s approval to his own.
In late July, Trump publicly wondered why the doctor’s approval rating is so high when his is so low.
“It’s interesting: He has a very good approval rating. And I like that, it’s good,” said Trump. “Because remember, he works for this administration. He works with us. We could have got other people. We could have got someone else. It didn’t have to be Dr. Fauci. He works with our administration. And for the most part we did what he and others – and Dr. (Deborah) Birx and others – recommended. “
Trump continued, “And he has this high approval rating. Why don’t I have a high approval rating on the virus – and the administration -? We should have it very high.”
On ABC News Sunday, Jon Karl, who was a guest on This Week, said he had asked Fauci for an interview and although he was willing to participate, the White House blocked the performance. Karl said other medical experts on the task force had also been called in, but the White House had not offered anyone.