Fauci says Trump campaign ad twists his words on virus

Top government scientist Anthony Fauci said Sunday that an ad aired by Donald Trump’s reelection campaign was edited to make him seem to endorse the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate,” Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said in a statement sent to AFP.

Top government scientist Anthony Fauci said Sunday that an ad aired by Donald Trump’s reelection campaign was edited to make him seem to endorse the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate,” Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said in a statement sent to AFP.

In his statement Sunday, Fauci said, “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.”

Trump defended the clip, and his handling of pandemic, and rebutted the doctor’s criticism.

“They are indeed Dr. Fauci’s own words. We have done a ‘phenomenal’ job, according to certain governors,” the president wrote in a tweet.

As a leading member of the White House task force on the coronavirus, the 79-year-old doctor has frequently had to walk a fine line in attempting to clarify — or correct — the Trump’s often incautious assertions about the disease or the treatments and vaccines being developed against Covid-19.

Fauci has at times aroused Trump’s ire, as when the president in April retweeted a message containing the hashtag #FireFauci — before publicly insisting the doctor was doing a great job. (AFP)

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