The Huffington Post reports via Yahoo! News that Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, revealed that he has received “serious threats” against himself and his family.
- Fauci spoke of the threats during an appearance on The Axe Files, a CNN podcast.
- The threats were directed toward himself, his wife, and his daughters, and they seemed to target him for his public role as a health adviser amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Post notes that Fauci’s advice and warnings about the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic have sometimes placed him at odds with President Donald J. Trump and Trump’s allies.
- Trump has frequently downplayed the pandemic, hosts campaign events without regard for social distancing, only recently began encouraging Americans to wear face masks, and has been a vocal proponent of early, swift reestablishment of in-person schooling and business practices.
- The Washington Post reports that Trump has bluntly said that Fauci “made a lot of mistakes,” and his appointed economic adviser Peter Navarro has publicly accused Fauci of being “wrong about everything I have ever interacted with him on.”
- And in response to a question, the White House even provided the Post with a statement asserting that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things.”
- This statement, in context of the White House tenor toward Fauci, prompted “rebukes from public health experts, scientists and mostly Democratic politicians, the Post reports, on the grounds that it was “dangerous” to disparage and risk discrediting public health authorities during the pandemic.
In discussing the new threats he has received, Fauci compared them to hate mail he received during the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s. Then, he said, it was just “stupid people saying stupid things.” But the new threats felt different. They were “really a magnitude different now, because of the anger” and included “not only hate mail but also serious threats.”
As much as people inappropriately, I think, make me somewhat of a hero… there are people who get really angry at thinking I’m interfering with their life because I’m pushing a public health agenda.
…I don't see how society does that. It's tough. Serious threats against me, against my family… my daughters, my wife—I mean, really? Is this the United States of America?