UPDATE, with Quaid response In an Instagram video post titled, in caps, “NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPOLITICIZED,” actor Dennis Quaid says he’s “feeling some outrage and a lot of disappointment” about reports in “the cancel culture media” regarding his involvement in a public service campaign about COVID-19.
“It was in no way political,” Quaid says in the video, adding that he was not paid for his involvement – he taped an interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci – and that the purpose of the PSA and interview with Fauci was “about raising awareness of COVID-19 and what we can still do to prevent lives being lost to this terrible, terrible virus. It was about the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing.”
The involvement of Quaid and gospel singer Cece Winans was first reported in a Politico article today about a $300 million White House ad campaign touting the Trump Administration’s response to COVID-19. The ad blitz, promoting a “defeat despair” message, is set to launch prior to Election Day on Nov. 3.
According to the Politico report, the White House ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to create a campaign as a way to address the federal government’s handling of the pandemic and to promote safety protocols. The campaign will urge Americans to stay optimistic.
In his first public response to the article, Quaid says:
Hello everyone, Dennis Quaid here. I have to say that right now I am feeling some outrage and a lot of disappointment about a PSA and interview that I did with Dr. Anthony Fauci a few weeks ago. It is being used by the cancel culture media that I was doing a campaign ad and endorsement of Donald Trump and that I was paid handsomely for this by diverted CDC funds. Nothing could be further from the truth. What I was doing, I did a PSA for Dr. Anthony Fauci and he was kind enough to grant me an interview as well, and the interview and the PSA were about raising awareness of COVID-19 and what we can still do to prevent lives being lost to this terrible, terrible virus. It was about the importance of wearing a mask and social distanicing and it was in no way political. In fact, Dr. Anthony Fauci and I both talked about it before that it was not to be political, as the virus is not political. I was not paid one penny for doing this interview and nether was Dr. Anthony Fauci. I am really disappointed that some people who call themselves legitimate reporters don’t do their homework. If you would like to listen to my entire conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci you can, it’s on my podcast the Dennaissance Podcast on Audio Up. Whoever wrote this story obviously didn’t listen to the interview. Anyway, thank you for your time. Everybody out there stay safe, and wear a mask. God bless.
Quaid does not directly address whether his video interview with Fauci will be used in a Trump Administration ad or PSA campaign.
After news of the campaign broke, Winans posted an Instagram and Twitter video saying her involvement “was not political at all.”
“I was asked a couple of weeks ago to do an interview with the surgeon general, Jerome Adams, about the coronavirus,” Winans says in the video (watch it below). “And this interview stresses how important it is for everyone to wear a mask, and it also gives us other instructions on how to get on the other side of this pandemic. It was not political at all. We have lost so many lives because of COVID-19. Let’s all do everything we can so we won’t lose any more. God bless you.”
Last spring, Quaid told The Daily Beast that Trump, “no matter what anybody thinks of him, is doing a good job at trying to get these states—and all of the American people—what they need, and also trying to hold our economy together and be prepared for when this is all over.”
In addition to Quaid and Winans, the HHS, according to Politico, approached Dr. Mehmet Oz and Garth Brooks to appear in the campaign, though their involvement is unknown at this point.
The COVID ad campaign was largely conceived by Michael Caputo, the health department spokesperson who, before taking a two-month medical leave following a cancer diagnosis, accused government scientists of “sedition.” Caputo said in a Facebook video on Sept. 13 that the ad campaign was “demanded of me by the president of the United States personally,” and that, “The Democrats — and, by the way, their conjugal media and the leftist scientists that are working for the government — are dead set against it. They cannot afford for us to have any good news before November because they’re already losing. … They’re going to come after me because I’m going to be putting $250 million worth of ads on the air.”
Caputo’s campaign, paid largely by tax dollars, is reportedly being investigated by Democrats.
A quick urgent message! pic.twitter.com/j2j9mBudW6
— CeCe Winans (@cecewinans) September 26, 2020
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.