Truth Test: Trump Campaign ad cherry-picks data, lacks context

Truth Test: Trump Campaign ad cherry-picks data, lacks context

ORLANDO Fla. — The Coronavirus is front and center in a new ad from President Trump’s campaign featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The ad has drawn controversy after Dr. Fauci himself said it took his comments out of context.

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“I can’t imagine that...anybody could be doing more,” Dr. Fauci is seen saying during a news interview.

Only one problem...Fauci wasn’t talking about the president in the clip; he was talking about the COVID task force.

Dr. Fauci has said the clip is out of context, but the Trump campaign stands by the edit.

“I do not think it’s disingenuous and I would disagree respectfully with doctor Fauci on that point,” Trump Campaign representative Steve Cortes said.

Cortes contends the task force Fauci was referring to reports to the president, therefore it’s legitimate to make that connection in the ad.

“The reality is the president’s record of action is pretty decisive,” Cortes continues.

The ad also takes a look at that record.

“Protecting our seniors, getting them life-saving drugs in record time…”

It’s not clear whether that’s true.

Right now, Florida, as well as 26 other states, are seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The ad doesn’t mention this, instead pointing to two news stories- one from April, the other from June- both before recent events.

“It is a difficult ad to condense into 30 seconds the entirety of what everybody has experienced,” UCF Political Science Professor Dr. John Hanley said.

Hanley notes the ad does what political ads tend to do: cherry-pick beneficial information.

Overall, we rate the ad half true. The comments by Dr. Fauci and the data used need much more context.