The top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says a Trump campaign ad that uses a quote from him is misleading.
The ad was released last week and discusses U.S. President Donald Trump's efforts to fight the pandemic.
It shows Fauci saying that he quote "can't imagine that anybody could be doing more" against COVID-19 - suggesting he was praising the president.
But those remarks are actually from an interview in March and in a statement, Fauci said that, quote, "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."
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh is defending the ad. In a statement on Sunday (October 12), he said the quotes "are accurate, and directly from Dr. Fauci's mouth."
In a Sunday tweet Trump himself also said, "They are indeed Dr. Fauci's own words. We have done a 'phenomenal' job, according to certain governors."
And in July, White House spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany seemed to quote the Fauci statement in a similar way to the campaign ad.
"You have Dr. Fauci, who said that 'the record of this president is impressive; I can't imagine that, under any circumstance, that anybody could be doing more.' And, those are the words of Dr. Fauci."
Fauci and Trump have not always agreed on how to handle the pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 people in the United States and infected more than 7 million.
Opinion polls show most voters disapprove of the president's handling of the crisis.
ABC news says that it had asked Fauci to appear on it's Sunday morning political show but the administration failed to make him or other members of the Coronavirus Taskforce available.