Dr Fauci accuses Trump campaign of 'HARASSING' him after quoting him in ad but vows he won't quit coronavirus task force

DR Anthony Fauci accused the Trump campaign of “harassing” him by quoting him out of context in an advertisement—but insisted he will not quit the White House Coronavirus Task Force over it.

After President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign aired the ad with him over the weekend, Fauci appeared on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper on Monday and the anchor asked him about the campaign hypothetically airing another ad featuring him.

“You know, that would be terrible, that would be outrageous if they do that,” responded the nations' top infectious disease expert.

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“In fact, that might actually come back to backfire on them.”

Later on Monday, Fauci told The Daily Beast what he meant with the word “backfire.” 

“By doing this against my will they are, in effect, harassing me,” Fauci said. 

“Since campaign ads are about getting votes, their harassment of me might have the opposite effect of turning some voters off.”

Tensions between Fauci and the Trump camp flared after the campaign put out a 30-second ad following the president’s discharge from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, detailing his experience fighting Covid-19. 

The narrator in the ad states that “President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus, and so is America," and, "together we rose to meet the challenge, protecting our seniors, getting them life-saving drugs in record time, sparing no expense.”

However, the ad then shows an interview in which Fauci says, “I can't imagine that anybody could be doing more,” seemingly referring to Trump. 

Speaking on CNN on Sunday, an upset Fauci clarified: “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 communications director Tim Murtaugh responded that "these are Dr. Fauci's own words.”

Then the president himself tweeted that “they are indeed Dr. Fauci’s own words.”

On CNN on Monday, Fauci said he believes the Trump campaign should take the ad down and that “it’s really unfortunate and really disappointing” that they ran the ad because he has been “so clear I’m not a political person” and has never endorsed a candidate. 

Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, further clarified to The Daily Beast that his “backfire” comment was in no way a threat to leave his place on the coronavirus task force. 

“Not a chance,” Fauci said. “Not in my wildest freakin’ dreams did I ever think about quitting.”

He reiterated those sentiments on CNBC’s The News with Shep Smith on Monday night. 

Fauci said that “obviously there are a lot of things that are going on that you would prefer did not happen, like the ad.” 

“That’s not helpful but I’m certainly not going to give up. This is too important a problem—I mean I’ve devoted my entire professional life to fighting infectious diseases,” Fauci continued.

“There’s no chance that I’m going to give up on this and walk away from it, no matter what happened.”

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Sun on Monday night on Fauci’s comment that the team was “harassing” him with the ad. 

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