Dr Anthony Fauci criticises Trump campaign for taking quotes 'out of context'

12 October 2020, 06:12 | Updated: 12 October 2020, 08:41

Dr Anthony Fauci has criticised the Trump campaign for taking his quotes "out of context"
Dr Anthony Fauci has criticised the Trump campaign for taking his quotes "out of context". Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

The top infectious diseases expert in the US has criticised Donald Trump's campaign for taking comments he made about efforts to control Covid-19 to make it seem as though he was praising the President.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was featured on a campaign advert issued by the GOP in the run-up to next month's election.

But Dr Fauci has since said he did not consent to be in the advert and the comments were taken out of context.

The 30-second clip showed Trump's own diagnosis and later recovery from coronavirus, and showed Dr Fauci saying: "I can't imagine that anybody could be doing more".

However in the full quotes - which were made during an interview with Fox News in March - Dr Fauci said: "I have been devoting almost full time on this. I'm down at the White House virtually every day with the task force.

Dr Fauci said his comments were made in relation to a team of experts and their efforts
Dr Fauci said his comments were made in relation to a team of experts and their efforts. Picture: PA

"It's every single day. So, I can't imagine that under any circumstances that anybody could be doing more."

But Dr Fauci has rubbished claims he endorsed Trump, saying in a statement: "In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate"

Read more: Twitter brands Trump's 'immune from Covid' tweet 'misleading and potentially harmful'

"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."

But Trump's campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh hit back the the acclaimed physician, and said: "These are Dr Fauci's own words. The video is from a nationally broadcast television interview in which Dr Fauci was praising the work of the Trump administration. The words spoken are accurate, and directly from Dr Fauci's mouth."

Trump himself was keen to defend the use of Dr Fauci's words, and tweeted: "They are indeed Dr Fauci's own words. We have done a 'phenomenal' job, according to certain governors."

The US President has faced criticism from Twitter over the weekend, after the social media platform branded one of his tweets as "misleading and potentially harmful."

Trump had claimed he is now "immune" from the virus after catching it, and has since been given a "complete sign off" from the White House medical team.

However, he did not confirm whether he had yet tested negative for coronavirus following his stay at the Walter Reed Military Medical Center.

Mr Trump claimed that his "sign off" meant that he was now immune from Covid-19 and "can't get" or transmit the virus to other people.

He wrote: "A total and complete sign off from White House Doctors yesterday. That means I can’t get it (immune), and can’t give it. Very nice to know!!!"