“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate. The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign announcement were taken out of context by a broad statement I made months ago. on the efforts of federal government public health officials, “Fauci said in a statement provided exclusively to CNN when asked if he agreed to appear in the ad.
“President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus, and America too,” says the narrator of the announcement. “Together we stood up to rise to the challenge, protecting our seniors, getting them life-saving drugs in record time, with no expense spared.”
The announcement then flashes in an interview with Fauci in which he says, “I can’t imagine anyone could do more.”
Although no date is given in the announcement, Fauci’s quote comes from an interview with Fox News in March. During that interview, Fauci praised the ongoing effort of the White House coronavirus task force to respond to the pandemic, which he said included numerous White House meetings and late-night phone calls.
“We’ve never had a threat like this. The coordinated response has been … There are a number of adjectives to describe it – impressive, I think it’s one of them. We’re talking about all hands on the deck. Me, as one of many. people on a team, I’m not the only person, “Fauci said at the time. “From the start, which we also recognized what it was all about, I spent almost all of the time on it. I’m in the White House pretty much every day with the task force. It’s every single day. So, I can’t imagine that under any circumstances anyone could do more “.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The use of Fauci in the new announcement appears to be a recognition by the Trump campaign that the doctor is a voice that voters trust when it comes to the pandemic. Trump privately and publicly compared Fauci’s approval with his own.
In late July, Trump publicly wondered why the doctor’s approval score is so high when his is so low.
“It’s interesting: it has a very good approval rating. And I like that, it’s good,” Trump said. “Because remember: he’s working for this administration. He works with us. We could have gotten other people. We could have had someone else. It didn’t have to be Dr. Fauci. He works with our administration. And mostly we did what he and others did. – and Dr. (Deborah) Birx and others – recommended. “
Trump continued, “And it has this high approval rating. So why don’t I have a high approval rating over – and the administration – the virus? We should have it very high.”
On ABC News Sunday, Jon Karl, who was a guest on “This Week”, said he had requested an interview with Fauci and, although he was willing to attend, the White House blocked the appearance. Karl said other medical experts from the task force were also requested, but the White House offered none.