Dr. Anthony Fauci says the Trump campaign used a quote, taken out of context, without his permission in a new campaign ad.
“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed nor do I now endorse any political candidates,” Fauci said in a statement to NBC News. “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.”
The Trump campaign released the ad last week after Trump was discharged from Walter Reed Medical Hospital. The 30-second ad, which is airing in Michigan, is called “Carefully” and uses a quote from Fauci in an attempt to make it appear as if he is praising Trump’s response.
The comment came from a March interview when Fauci praised the White House coronavirus task force’s round-the-clock effort to respond to the pandemic, which he says included numerous White House meetings and late-night phone calls.
In context, the quote was as follows:
“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 White House says they will continue to run the ad, and blocked Fauci and other task force members from a television interview with ABC on Sunday.