Fauci: I didn't agree to be featured in Trump campaign ad

Top US infectious diseases expert says comments by him featured in Trump reelection campaign ad were taken out of context.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Anthony Fauci
Anthony Fauci

Top US infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday he had not agreed to be featured in an ad by President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and that his comments were taken out of context, Reuters reported.

The ad, released last week, discusses Trump’s effort to recover from the coronavirus personally, as well as his administration’s work to address the pandemic. The 30-second spot uses older remarks from Fauci in a way that suggests he was praising the president.

“I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more,” the ad shows Fauci saying.

Those remarks are from a March interview, where Fauci, who has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, was discussing the broader effort, including by the White House coronavirus task force.

“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate,” Fauci said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

“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,” his statement added.

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh later said the words in the ad from Fauci “are accurate, and directly from Dr. Fauci’s mouth.

“As Dr. Fauci recently testified in the Senate, President Trump took the virus seriously from the beginning, acted quickly, and saved lives,” Murtaugh’s statement added.

Earlier on Sunday, Trump spoke with Fox News and commented on his recovery from the coronavirus.

"Once you recover, you're immune. Now you have a president that's immune," he said, adding, "So now you have a president who doesn't have to hide in his basement.”

In a previous interview on Fox News, Trump said that he was “medication free” as of Friday and feeling "really, really strong."