Dr. Anthony Fauci Warns That Trump Team Featuring Him In Another Ad “Might Backfire On Them”
Donald Trump’s campaign ran a political ad that makes it appear as though Dr. Anthony Fauci was endorsing the president, saying that no one could have done more to combat the pandemic than he has. Fauci has already said that’s not what he said, and that he does not endorse political candidates, directly or indirectly. Monday night, he said that if the Trump campaign tried that trick again, it could backfire on them.
Speaking to CNN‘s Jake Tapper, Fauci reiterated what he’s been saying — that the clip was deceptively edited, that he has never endorsed a political candidate, and that his statement was taken out of context. When Tapper asked how Fauci would react if the Trump campaign was planning to put out another similarly deceptive ad, he got more serious.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says “it’s really unfortunate and really disappointing” that the Trump campaign featured him in an ad touting the President’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) October 12, 2020
You know, that would be terrible. I mean that would be outrageous if they do that. And in fact that might actually come back to backfire on them. I hope they don’t do that, because that would be kinda playing a game that we don’t want to play, so I hope they reconsider that.
Fauci spoke openly over the weekend about the ad. ABC reports that he explained the comments were not about Trump, but “a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials.” However, this is the first time he’s suggested that there might be repercussions for the Trump campaign if they continue to misrepresent him.
The Trump campaign has said they intend to continue airing the campaign ad.
They are indeed Dr. Fauci’s own words. We have done a “phenomenal” job, according to certain governors. Many people agree…And now come the Vaccines & Cures, long ahead of projections! https://t.co/ANqKL4eBqJ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2020
Campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh has stood by the ad, insisting that Fauci’s words have not been taken out of context. The president amplified this, and insisted that his administration has done “a phenomenal job.”