Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Sunday that he did not consent to being featured in a Trump campaign ad, which uses his comments out of context.

Context: The Trump campaign released an ad on Saturday that features a clip of Fauci saying, "I can't imagine that ... anybody could be doing any more." The campaign edited the clip to make it appear as if Fauci was talking about Trump. In reality, Fauci says he made the comments months ago and was speaking broadly about the efforts of federal health officials.

The full quote: "We've never had a threat like this. The coordinated response has been ... There are a number of adjectives to describe it — impressive, I think is one of them. We're talking about all hands on deck. I, as one of many people on a team, I'm not the only person," Fauci said.

  • "Since the beginning, that we even recognized what this was, I have been devoting almost full time on this. I'm down at the White House virtually every day with the task force. It's every single day. So, I can't imagine that under any circumstances that anybody could be doing more."

Driving the news: "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," Fauci said in a statement to CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

  • "In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate," he added.

The other side: Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in an emailed statement to Axios that “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," Murtaugh added.
  • “As Dr. Fauci recently testified in the Senate, President Trump took the virus seriously from the beginning, acted quickly, and saved lives."

The big picture: The Trump administration has faced criticism for silencing Fauci and other top health officials, who have frequently been forced to correct the president's misleading claims about the coronavirus. The host of ABC's "This Week" said on Sunday the White House refused to allow the NIAID chief or any of the medical experts on the coronavirus task force to appear on the program.

Go deeper ... Fauci: We had a superspreader event at the White House

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh's statement.

Go deeper

Updated 21 hours ago - Health

The coronavirus variants: What you need to know

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New variants of the coronavirus circulating globally appear to increase transmission and are being closely monitored by scientists.

Driving the news: The highly contagious variant B.1.1.7 originally detected in the U.K. could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by March if no measures are taken to control the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

Azar says deadly Capitol siege could "tarnish" Trump administration's legacy

Alex Azar. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin-Pool via Getty

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a resignation letter delivered to President Trump this week that the "actions and rhetoric" after the election and especially during last week's siege on the Capitol "threaten to tarnish" the outgoing administration's legacy, Axios confirmed Friday.

Between the lines: Azar is leaving the same day President-elect Joe Biden takes office, so his resignation effectively changes nothing. But he joins a list of other top Trump aides and officials who have condemned the president after last week's deadly riot.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!