Fauci says his remarks were taken out of context in Trump ad

By Pete Schroeder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top U.S. 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 October 13, 2020 00:12:24 IST
Fauci says his remarks were taken out of context in Trump ad

Fauci says his remarks were taken out of context in Trump ad

By Pete Schroeder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top U.S. 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.

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.

But 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.

"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 defended the ad in a statement on Sunday, saying the words 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.

Trump himself echoed that sentiment in a tweet on Sunday, saying: "They are indeed Dr. Fauci's own words. We have done a 'phenomenal' job, according to certain governors."

Fauci and Trump have not always agreed on how to handle the pandemic, which has infected nearly 7.7 million people in the United States and killed more than 214,000. Opinion polls show most voters disapprove of the president's handling of the crisis.

On Friday, Fauci described a Sept. 26 White House event, after which several attendees including Trump, tested positive for the virus, as a "superspreader event."

ABC News said on Sunday it had asked the White House to allow Fauci to appear on "The Week," but the administration refused to make him or other members of the task force available.

Alyssa Farah, the White House communications director, said later on Twitter that Fauci had made other media appearances earlier in the week, rebutting the charge he was "muzzled."

(Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Peter Cooney)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.