Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, says he was taken out of context in a new campaign advertisement that touts President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, CNN reports.
“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 in a statement provided to CNN when asked if he agreed to be featured in the ad.
The contentious advertisement was released by the Trump campaign last week, after the president was discharged from the hospital after being treated for complications from the coronavirus.
The ad includes a clip of an interview with Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, saying, “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”
Fauci told CNN, “In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate.”
CNN reported that the 30-second spot is airing in Michigan, and touts Trump’s newly-acquired personal experience with the virus. The Trump campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment by the network.
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