Dr. Anthony Fauci is not happy that President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has quoted him in a new ad, saying that his words were taken out of context and that the campaign is “in effect, harassing” him by featuring him.
What are the details?
The Trump-Pence 2020 campaign released a new ad in recent days titled “Carefully,” which begins by saying, “President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus, and so is America. Together, we rose to meet the challenge. Protecting our seniors, getting them life saving drugs in record time — sparing no expense.”
It goes on to say that the president “tackled the virus head-on, as leaders should,” then cuts to Fauci saying, “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”
Fauci is not a fan of the new ad.
He told CNN in reaction, “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.”
CNN host Jake Tapper asked Fauci in an interview what his thoughts would be if the Trump campaign put out another ad quoting him, to which the doctor said, “You know, that would be terrible. I mean, that would be outrageous if they do that. In fact, that might actually come back to backfire on them. I hope they don’t do that, because that would be kind of playing a game that we don’t want to play.”
He added that he hoped they would reconsider if such a plan is in the works.
Dr. Fauci reacts to Trump ad: It’s clear I’m not a political person
What did the Trump campaign say?
On Sunday, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said in response, “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 tweeted, “They are indeed Dr. Fauci’s own words. We have done a ‘phenomenal’ job, according to certain governors. Many people agree…And now come the Vaccines & Cures, long ahead of projections!”
They are indeed Dr. Fauci’s own words. We have done a “phenomenal” job, according to certain governors. Many people… https://t.co/Q8NhevAkzp
— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1602454195.0
Dr. Fauci told The Daily Beast on Monday, “By doing this against my will they are, in effect, harassing me,” speaking of the Trump campaign. “Since campaign ads are about getting votes, their harassment of me might have the opposite effect of turning some voters off.”