US government chief scientist Anthony Fauci said a modified clip of him used in a Trump campaign ad is misleading.
Dr Fauci is shown saying that he “couldn’t imagine anyone could do more” to fight Covid-19, suggesting that he is talking about President Trump.
Fauci was speaking for himself and other medical officials, however.
The infectious disease expert has previously clashed with Mr. Trump over how to handle the pandemic.
“During nearly five decades of public service, I have not publicly supported any political candidate,” he said in a statement sent to Agence France-Presse.
“The comments attributed to me without my permission in the Republican campaign announcement are taken from the context of a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials,” said Dr. Fauci.
The 30-second campaign ad declares that “President Trump is recovering from the Coronavirus and so is America,” before playing Dr. Fauci’s clip.
However, in the original footage of Dr Fauci, which came from an epidemiologist’s interview with Fox News in March, he said, “I’ve devoted almost an entire time to this. I’m at the White House almost every day with the staff. It’s every day. I cannot imagine that under any circumstances anyone could do more. “
In response, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said: “These are the words of Dr. Fauci. The video is taken from a nationally broadcast television interview in which Dr. Fauci praised the work of the Trump administration. The spoken words are accurate and direct from Dr. Fauci.”
President Trump He also advocated the use of the clip, Tweeting, “It’s really Dr. Fauci’s words. We’ve done an ‘exceptional’ job, according to some conservatives.”
This comes days after Dr Fauci criticized the White House for hosting a meeting last month linked to the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.
He said the Rose Garden event on September 26, which was held to unveil President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, was a “superior event.” At least 11 people who attended later tested positive for the virus.
Mr. Trump also tested positive for the virus on October 1, and he was hospitalized for three days with the virus.
But doctors cleared him last week of holding public events, less than a month before he faced Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the presidential election.
On Monday, the Trump campaign is planning a large rally in Sanford, Florida.
Mr Trump has expressed doubts about measures such as masks and lockdowns to combat the spread of Covid-19, which has killed more than 213,000 people in the United States. He has talked about the possibilities of a vaccine being available, although researchers say this is unlikely to happen before the next year at the earliest.
Polls show Biden one number ahead of Trump, and an ABC News / Ipsos poll found that only 35% of Americans agreed with how Trump handled the crisis.
Who has proven correct in Mr. Trump’s circle?
As many as 34 White House aides and other people have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus in recent days, according to US media, and many of them are linked to the September 26 event.
The Minnesota Department of Health said on Friday that nine infections were linked to a Trump campaign demonstration on September 18 in the state.
- Did this White House event cause a virus outbreak?
Officials say at least one person was contagious when they attended, and two cases resulted in hospitalization, with one of those people in intensive care.