Anthony Fauci, a senior US government scientist, said an edited clip of him used in a Trump campaign ad was misleading.
This shows that Dr Fauci says he “can’t imagine that anyone could do more” to fight Covid-19, suggesting he is talking about President Trump.
However, Dr Fauci was speaking about himself and other medical officials.
The infectious disease expert has already clashed with Mr Trump on how to handle the pandemic.
“During my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly supported any political candidate,” he said in a statement sent to the AFP news agency.
“The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign announcement were taken out of context from a general statement I made months ago about the efforts of the GOP. Federal public health officials, ”added Dr. Fauci.
The 30-second campaign ad declares that “President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus, so is America,” before releasing Dr. Fauci’s clip.
However, in the original footage of Dr Fauci, which comes from an interview the epidemiologist did with Fox News in March, he says, “I spend most of my time on this. I am in the White House almost every day with the task force. It’s every day. So I can’t imagine that under any circumstance anyone could do more. ”
In response, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said, “These are Dr. Fauci’s own words. The video is taken from a nationally broadcast television interview in which Dr. Fauci praised the work of the Trump administration. The words spoken are exact and direct from Dr La bouche de Fauci. ”
President Trump also defended the use of the clip, tweeting: “These are indeed Dr Fauci’s own words. We have done a “phenomenal” job, according to some governors. ”
It comes days after Dr Fauci criticized the White House for hosting a rally linked to a Covid-19 outbreak last month.
He said the Rose Garden event on September 26, held to unveil President Trump’s Supreme Court candidate, was a “mass-market event.” At least 11 people who attended later tested positive for the virus.
Mr. Trump also tested positive on October 1 and was hospitalized for three days with the virus.
But doctors last week cleared him to hold 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 skepticism 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 spoke of the prospect of a vaccine becoming available, although researchers say that probably won’t happen until next year at the earliest.
Poll suggests Mr Biden has a single-digit lead on Mr Trump, and an ABC News / Ipsos poll found that only 35% of Americans approved of the way Mr Trump had handled the crisis.
Who has tested positive in Mr. Trump’s circle?
No less than 34 White House staff and other contacts have tested positive for Covid-19 in recent days, according to US media, many of whom are linked to the September 26 event.
The Minnesota Department of Health on Friday said nine infections were linked to Mr. Trump’s September 18 campaign rally in the state.
- Did this White House event cause a virus outbreak?
At least one person was contagious when they visited, officials said, and two cases led to hospitalizations, with one of those people in intensive care.