National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday he was “taken out of context” in a new Trump campaign ad that features his comments “without my permission.”
“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.”
That ad, titled “Carefully,” was released Saturday and promotes the president’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It followed his discharge from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after he was stricken with the virus. In the ad, a clip of Fauci plays in which the infectious disease expert says he “can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”
That comment, however, came from a March interview Fauci conducted with Fox News in which the expert is speaking about the whole of government response, not specifically Trump’s efforts.
“We’re talking about all hands on deck,” Fauci said. “I, as one of many people on a team, I’m not the only person. 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.”
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