Opinion | Dr. Fauci Protests Too Much

In the case of Anthony Fauci vs. Donald Trump, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) doctor and the media say the Trump campaign is running an ad that takes Dr. Fauci’s words in vain. Readers can decide, so let’s go to the videotape.

The 30-second Trump ad released last week says “President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus, and so is America” and goes on to note “together we rose to meet the challenge, protecting our seniors, getting them life-saving drugs in record time.” It then features Dr. Fauci saying “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”

The quote was pulled from a Fox News interview in late March when Dr. Fauci was asked if he had ever seen as large a public response by an Administration to such a health threat. He responded: “We’ve never had a threat like this, and the coordinated response, and there are a number of adjectives to describe this, impressive, I think is one of them. We’re talking about all hands on deck.”

He went on to detail the White House coronavirus task force’s ’round-the-clock phone calls and meetings. “So I can’t imagine that under any circumstances that anybody could be doing more,” he concluded.

Dr. Fauci nonetheless took umbrage at his appearance in the Trump ad. “In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate,” he 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.”