Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government's top infectious disease expert, told media outlets Sunday that he did not consent to being featured in an ad by the Trump campaign, saying 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 to NBC and CNN.
The ad, released last week shortly after the president was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center following treatment for COVID-19, touts the president’s response to the virus. The ad includes a short clip of Fauci saying “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more” in an attempt to make it appear as if he is praising Trump's response. But he was not.
Also Sunday, on ABC News' "This Week", host Jon Karl said he requested Fauci come on his show for an interview, and although Fauci was willing, the White House blocked Fauci's appearance.
Here is the new Trump 30-second TV spot:
Note also that Trump is trying to muzzle Fauci at the same time they're using his words out of context as propaganda.
This is fascism. https://t.co/4sKyhWdTrN
— boo AMERICA IS A FASCIST THEOCRACY boo (@OneAcmeMan) October 11, 2020
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— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) October 11, 2020
The truth matters. The requests for Dr. Fauci and the other members of the task force were made directly to you — multiple times. In this email, for example: https://t.co/fL6U1u1JNB pic.twitter.com/PQRr1DgG4t
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) October 11, 2020
Just saw a Trump ad that features Fauci endorsing his handling of virus. Trump has sidelined Fauci in favor of people like Scott Atlas who has spread misinformation about COVID. Is Fauci aware he’s being used in a Trump ad?
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 11, 2020