Washington – DR., the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said Sunday his comments were in an ad from the Trump campaign about the federal response to the Pandemic were taken out of context and used without his permission.
“In my nearly five decades in the public service, I’ve never publicly endorsed a political candidate,” Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said in a statement to CBS News. “The comments attributed to me on the GOP campaign ad without my permission have been taken out of the context of a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal health officials.”
The 30-second ad from Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign praises the president’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and includes an edited clip from Fauci that allegedly said, “I can’t imagine … anyone could do more “, apparently in terms of how Mr. Trump responded to the pandemic.
However, the clip is from an interview radio host Mark Levin had with Fauci for his Fox News show in March. During this time, Fauci was asked if he had seen “this great coordinated government response” to such a public health threat.
Describing the federal response, Fauci said he and the other members of the White House’s coronavirus task force worked day and night to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
“There’s a whole group of us that do that. It’s every day,” he said.
Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign communications director, defended Fauci’s use of Fauci’s comments in the ad in a statement.
“These are Dr. Fauci’s own words,” he said. “The video is from a national television interview in which Dr. Fauci praised the work of the Trump administration. The words spoken are correct and straight from Dr. Fauci’s mouth. As Dr. Fauci recently testified in the Senate, President Trump took the virus Serious from the start, acted quickly and saved lives. “
Mr. Trump retweeted an NBC news reporter who shared Murtaugh’s testimony, saying, “These are indeed Dr. Fauci’s own words.” Mr Trump then claimed that the government did “certain” a “phenomenal” job, and that “now vaccines and medicines are coming, well ahead of projections!” “
The Trump campaign ad went on air six days after he was released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was being treated for COVID-19.
“President Trump tackled the virus head-on, as leaders should,” the narrator says before moving on to the clip of Fauci.
Kristin Brown contributed to this report