Dr. Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, and U.S. President Donald Trump attend the daily meeting of the coronavirus task force at the White House in Washington, DC on April 22, 2020.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, reiterated Thursday that his comments were used in one of the presidents Donald TrumpThe campaign ads have been taken out of context.
The 30 seconds Advertisement from Trump’s re-election campaign Commends the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, and includes a clip from Fauci saying, “I can’t imagine anyone could do more.”
“The way that ad ran that she quoted me in at the end was certainly in what looked very much like political endorsement, and I’ve carefully avoided that for as many years as decades,” said Fauci, director of The National Institute on Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said during an interview with Yahoo News.
Fauci said he was referring to the White House Coronavirus Task Force in the early days of the pandemic, when the group was working 24 hours a day and “things were really on fire”. Fauci, a member of the task force, said the ad “made it look very much like political endorsement”. He said his before Comments have been taken out of context.
“I have never directly or indirectly endorsed a political candidate,” said Fauci, who was appointed director of NIAID in 1984. “I have worked in the public health field for the past five decades, advising six administrations.”
Fauci said he wanted to be “completely apolitical” and remain a “scientist, doctor and public health person”.
Fauci and Trump were at times at odds over coronavirus response efforts, with President Fauci often criticizing. Just two days ago, Trump mocked Fauci in a tweet, saying that the infectious disease expert’s “pitching arm” is far more accurate than his predictions.
“‘No problem, no masks’. WHO doesn’t like lockdowns anymore – just spoke out against it. Trump was right. We saved 2,000,000 lives in the US !!!” Trump tweeted.
Trump could be referring to Fauci’s previous criticism of the US, which wasn’t completely blocked at the start of the outbreak. Fauci said in July that the US had so many coronavirus cases because they “haven’t closed completely”.
The World Health Organization now says that lockdowns should only be used in full as a last resort when other restrictive measures don’t work.