Dozens of doctors practicing in Michigan wrote a letter to TV stations in the state on Monday urging them to stop airing an ad from the Trump campaign that features comments on the coronavirus pandemic from Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci says clip in Trump ad is out of context Trump slight against Gold Star families adds to military woes New ad from Trump campaign features Fauci MORE that the infectious disease expert has said were taken out of context.
The letter, released by the Committee to Protect Medicare, is signed by 49 doctors describes the ad as “dishonest” over its use of comments from Fauci this past spring stating that he “can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more” than the U.S. to stop the coronavirus pandemic.
Fauci has said in recent days that he was not referring directly to the president when he made those remarks and that the campaign should stop running the ad.
“The ad is dishonest by including a selectively edited interview of Dr. Anthony Fauci from a March 23 interview that distorts the context of his remarks,” the letter says.
The letter also characterizes the ad as encouraging “a false sense of security” by suggesting that the typical recovery path from COVID-19 mirror’s that of Trump, who received medication not available to all patients during his closely watched three-day stay at Walter Reed Medical Center.
“Physicians and public health professionals work hard every day to inform people about reducing COVID-19 infections and how we can all stay safer, and President TrumpDonald John TrumpDes Moines mayor says he’s worried about coronavirus spread at Trump rally Judiciary Committee Democrats pen second letter to DOJ over Barrett disclosures: ‘raises more questions that it answers’ Trump asks campaign to schedule daily events for him until election: report MORE’s campaign ad undermines these life-saving efforts,” Dr. Rob Davidson, executive director of the Committee to Protect Medicare, told The Hill in a statement.
“As physicians, we have a duty to speak up and act when we see harm about to happen to people. The message and medically inaccurate misinformation in President Trump’s ad has the potential to put people’s lives at risk and media platforms should take that ad down to protect public health,” he added.
The ad, which was unveiled this weekend, is running in Michigan where the president’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak is seen as a major reason for him trailing in the polls behind his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump asks campaign to schedule daily events for him until election: report White House pushes to hold next week’s canceled debate Trump hoping to strike last-minute nuclear arms deal with Putin before election: report MORE.
An official with the Trump campaign disputed that Fauci’s comments were taken out of context in a statement to The Hill.
“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. As Dr. Fauci recently testified in the Senate, President Trump took the virus seriously from the beginning, acted quickly, and saved lives,” said Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman.
In a poll released Monday, Biden led the president by 8 points in Michigan and 10 points in neighboring Wisconsin.