Dr. Anthony Fauci is accusing the Trump campaign of using his remarks in their new ad without his permission and taking what he said out of context.
On Saturday, the Trump campaign released a new 30-second ad titled "Carefully," which tries to applaud his response to the pandemic. After the narrator claims Trump "tackled the virus head on, as leaders should," a clip of Fauci is spliced in where the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director says, "I can't imagine that anybody could be doing more."
"In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed nor do I now endorse any political candidates," Fauci said in a statement about the ad, per NBC News. "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."
According to PolitiFact, the clip of Fauci comes from a March 22 Fox News interview where he was commending the efforts of the White House coronavirus task force, which included Dr. Deborah Birx, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and Vice President Mike Pence, who served as chair of the task force.
"I'm down at the White House virtually every day with the task force," Fauci said at the time. "I'm connected by phone throughout the day and into the night. When I say night, I'm talking 12, 1, 2 in the morning. I'm not the only one. There's a whole group of us that are doing that. It's every single day. So, I can't imagine that, under any circumstances, that anybody could be doing more."
While Fauci doesn't specifically name Trump in his remark, a campaign spokesperson defended the use of the clip to NBC News.
Naturally, Trump also chimed in.
And on Sunday, ABC's Jon Karl said the White House "blocked Fauci and all federal government medical experts" from appearing on his show.
In a July interview with the Financial Times, Fauci revealed he had not briefed Trump about the pandemic in at least two months, and they haven't seen each other in person at the White House since June 2.