Dr. Anthony Fauci has never endorsed a candidate for president, but President Donald Trump made it seem like Fauci endorsed him in a deceptive campaign ad released last week.

The ad touts words spoken by Fauci about federal public health officials back in March as the pandemic began spreading in the United States after Trump had referred to the coronavirus as a “hoax.”

“I can’t imagine … that anybody could be doing more,” Fauci briefly says in the ad.

This week, Fauci blasted Trump for taking his words out of context and using him as a re-election prop.

“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate,” Fauci told CNN. “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.”

The original comments were about the people actually working on finding solutions during the crisis in the early days, not Trump who was publically calling it a media/Democratic hoax and claimed it would just go away by April when the weather got warmer.

It wasn’t a hoax and It didn’t go away. In fact, the opposite happened.

In the original interview, Fauci said: “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 is one of them. I mean, we’re talking about all hands on deck. I, as one of many people on a team, I’m not the only person. Since the beginning, that we even recognized what this was, I have been devoting almost full time on this. I’m down at the White House virtually every day with the task force… I’m not the only one, there’s a whole group of us that are doing that. It’s every single day. So, I can’t imagine that under any circumstances that anybody could be doing more.”

The Trump campaign took that lengthy quote about the scientists and experts and reduced it to “I can’t imagine … that anybody could be doing more.” The quote was made to look like he was talking about Trump, which he has stated that he wasn’t.

Let’s not forget that Trump largely ignored the White House task force he appointed to handle the virus, preferring to use coronavirus press conferences as campaign rallies to spread disinformation. Trump is also on tape admitting that he knew all along how deadly the virus is and that he repeatedly downplayed it.

Furthermore, Trump would go on to block Fauci from appearing on news programs because of his criticism of Trump’s reckless and incompetent response to the virus. More than 210,000 Americans have died from coronavirus since February.

Trump responded to Fauci on Twitter and once again claimed that a vaccine or cure is forthcoming even though one likely won’t be available until next year.

Fauci knows that Trump has repeatedly lied about the virus. Trump even lied about it earlier on Sunday when he claimed to be free of the coronavirus and that he is now immune to it.

No one is proven to be immune to the coronavirus and there is a possibility that Trump still has it and is contagious. His misleading tweet drew a rebuke by Twitter, which flagged the post.

Fauci has never endorsed Trump and has actually been embarrassed by how he has handled the pandemic. That has not changed, and you can bet Fauci would have more criticism to dish out if he were actually allowed to speak freely to the press. The only reason Trump would cherry-pick Fauci’s words for a campaign ad is that Fauci is actually trusted by the American people and has a higher approval rating, both of which Trump is jealous of.

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