Ron DeSantis Ad Features AI-Generated Images of Donald Trump Kissing Fauci

The mainstreaming of AI-generated imagery in political advertisements continues. As reported by The Verge, the 2024 presidential campaign behind Florida governor Ron DeSantis has released a video advertisement featuring what strongly appear to be AI-generated images of former president Donald Trump kissing and embracing Anthony Fauci, the former White House chief medical advisor whose role in COVID-19 pandemic prevention and response has made him a target of right-wing conspiracy theories. Anti-vaccine and anti-COVID restriction messaging has become a rallying cry on the right, although the vaccine was one of Trump’s most concrete accomplishments during his term. DeSantis, who became a political star on the right in part because of Florida’s lax COVID restrictions, has made Trump’s alleged coziness to Fauci — the other main face behind pandemic lockdowns and vaccination efforts, which many far-righters have painted as tyrannical — central to his presidential bid. The video in question — which was first shared to Twitter on June 5 by the “DeSantis War Room, a Twitter account created last August by DeSantis aide Christina Pushaw — plays on these themes, juxtaposing clips of Trump firing contestants on his reality show with soundbites of the former president refusing to fire Fauci as well as imagery of the two figures alongside one another. And importantly, the videos of Trump on his reality show are marked as “Reality TV Trump,” while all other clips are marked as “Real Life Trump.” “Donald Trump became a household name by FIRING countless people *on television*,” reads the…Ron DeSantis Ad Features AI-Generated Images of Donald Trump Kissing Fauci

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