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Dr Fauci with Mr Trump at the White House in July. Photo: AAP
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  • Top U.S infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, has said his words have been “taken out of context” in a new Trump campaign ad
  • The new ad touts the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and uses a clip of Dr Fauci saying “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”
  • While they may be Dr Fauci’s words, they don’t apply to the president, nor his scattershot response to virus management in the world’s worst-hit country
  • Dr Fauci added: “In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed nor do I now endorse any political candidates.”
  • It appears the campaign is trying to appropriate some of Dr Fauci’s popularity and credibility to switch the narrative around the botched response to the virus, which has so far claimed over 214,000 American lives
  • Dr Fauci and other members of the coronavirus taskforce are currently unavailable for interviews

Top U.S infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, has said he was “totally surprised” and that his words have been “taken out of context” in a new Trump campaign ad.

“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed nor do I now endorse any political candidates,” he said in a statement, according to CNN.

The new ad touts the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and uses a clip of Dr Fauci saying “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”

The clip was lifted from an interview on Fox News’ “Life, Liberty & Levin” in March. Dr Fauci was referring to the efforts of people in the broader health service, rather than the president in particular.

“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,” Dr Fauci said.

President Trump and his campaign staff were quick to tweet responses to Dr Fauci’s comments about the ad.

Trump campaign Communications Director, Tim Murtaugh, tweeted: “Dr Fauci has repeatedly said the Trump Administration did everything possible to save lives.”

The president himself also weighed in, tweeting: “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!”

While they may be Dr Fauci’s words, they don’t apply to the president, nor his scattershot response to virus management in the world’s worst-hit country.

The administration is looking to shift public perceptions around the handling of the pandemic, particularly after the president’s rapid and secretive recovery from the virus.

Dr Fauci has been considered America’s most trustworthy and reliable source of information during the pandemic, with numerous polls showing an approval rating considerably above that of the president.

With Joe Biden leading the race for the White House, the Trump campaign has been looking to pivot and is hoping Trump’s recovery from the virus will reinstate some faith in the administration’s pandemic response.

It appears the campaign is trying to appropriate some of Dr Fauci’s popularity and credibility to switch the narrative around the virus, which has so far claimed over 214,000 American lives.

Daily case numbers are also on the up again after falling from their July peaks. The U.S. is now averaging over 48,000 cases per day, an increase of 12 per cent from the average just two weeks ago.

An interview request from ABC News with Dr Fauci has been refused. White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah denied Dr Fauci has been “muzzled” by the administration, citing the fact he had given interviews in the week before the ad was launched.

Dr Fauci and other members of the coronavirus taskforce are currently unavailable for interviews.

The Trump campaign’s attempt to reframe the virus narrative continues.

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