Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has claimed that he did not consent to being included in President Donald Trump’s new campaign ad.
In an interview with CNN, Fauci explained that his words were “taken out of context” and that his appearance should not be interpreted as a political endorsement.
“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 ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials,” Fauci told CNN.
Over footage of Trump waving to press en route to Walter Reed Medical Center and giving speeches, the 30-second ad uses Trump’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis to bolster his response to the virus.
“President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus and so is America. Together, we rose to meet the challenge…” the ad says. “President Trump tackled the virus head-on, as leaders should. We’ll get through this together. We’ll live carefully, but not afraid.”
The release of the ad comes as Trump has been discharged from Walter Reed and claims he is no longer symptomatic or contagious, although it has not yet been disclosed if the president has tested negative.