“I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”

— Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, misleadingly quoted in a Trump campaign ad released Oct. 10

Throughout 2020, the Trump campaign has offered a master class in how to snip and cut video in misleading ways. This new Trump ad is no exception.

The ad highlights the president’s bout with covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. The deaths of more than 200,000 Americans from the disease have been a huge setback to the president’s election campaign. This ad tries to argue that he took forceful action against the coronavirus, despite his constant efforts to play down the pandemic in public.

After the ad asserts, “President Trump tackled the virus head on as leaders should,” it follows with a clip of Fauci appearing to endorse that claim: “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”

There is a certain irony in the Trump campaign using Fauci as a validation, as the president frequently is quite critical of the infectious-disease expert. (See our fact check of Trump’s three key complaints about Fauci.) But the biggest problem is that Fauci was not talking about Trump at all….

Update: After Fauci’s statement was issued and this fact check was published, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh defended the ad: ““These are Dr. Fauci’s own words. The video is from a nationally broadcast television interview in which Dr. Fauci was praising the work of the Trump Administration. The words spoken are accurate, and directly from Dr. Fauci’s mouth.”

But Murtaugh is wrong. This is yet another misleading clip job by the Trump campaign. Fauci’s words are placed in the ad in a deliberate effort to mislead viewers, and he had every right to complain.


image…ABC News