Dr. Anthony Fauci has clarified that an edited clip of him included in a Trump campaign ad is misleading. The top expert in US on infectious diseases is shown, saying he “can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more” to fight coronavirus, giving a hint that he was referring to the efforts put up by Republican President Donald Trump to stem the pandemic. However, Fauci was talking about himself and other medical experts. The scientist has previously clashed with Trump over the handling of pandemic in the country.
“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate,” he said, in a statement given to AFP.
“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 added.
The 30-second add says “President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus, and so is America”, before playing the Fauci’s transition. However, in the original footage, a cut form an interview the epidemiologist gave to Fox News in March, he says: “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.”
Responding to the Fauci’s latest comments about his past statement, Tim Murtaugh said: “These are Dr Fauci’s own words. The video is from a nationally broadcast television interview in which Dr Fauci was praising the work of the Trump administration. The words spoken are accurate, and directly from Dr Fauci’s mouth.”
President Trump in a tweet also defended the use of Fauci’s footage in ad, saying: “They are indeed Dr Fauci’s own words. We have done a ‘phenomenal’ job, according to certain governors.”
The rebuttal comes days after the scientist and former WH aide on COVID-19 criticized the Trump administration for hosting a Republican meetup last month that contributed to the spread of virus among the members of White House. He slammed the Rose Garden event on Sep 26 as “super-spreader event”. At least 11 people who attended the gathering, held to unveil Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, were screened positive for the infection. Trump also tested positive on Oct 1 was flow to hospital where he spent three days before returning to White House.