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11 Oct, 2020 21:23

‘Can’t imagine anybody doing more’: Dr. Fauci says he was ‘taken out of context’ in pro-Trump ad praising Covid-19 response

‘Can’t imagine anybody doing more’: Dr. Fauci says he was ‘taken out of context’ in pro-Trump ad praising Covid-19 response

Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, says he was “taken out of context” and his words were used without his permission in a pro-Trump ad that appeared to show him praising the president.

“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate,” Fauci said in a statement to CNN the day after the release of the political ad.

The ad in question highlights the president’s recent recovery from Covid-19 and his administration’s actions in battling the pandemic. Fauci is featured at one point saying, “I can’t imagine that...anybody could be doing more.”

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It appears in the short clip that Fauci is praising the president, but he says it is in fact a “broad statement” made months ago about “federal public health officials.”

“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, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.

In the original March interview with Fox News from which Fauci’s comment comes from, he is talking about the Coronavirus White House Task Force.

“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,” Fauci originally said. 

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A spokesman for Trump’s campaign, which is behind the ad, has already responded to Fauci and denied taking him out of context.

“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,” Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s communications director, said in a statement.

Trump later weighed in on the controversy himself, tweeting “they are indeed Dr.Fauci’s own words,” and arguing that “according to certain governors,” his administration has done “a phenomenal job” in handling the pandemic.

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