The nation’s leading coronavirus expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, had to increase security as the death threats increase

Apr 3, 2020 12:35 AM ET

A police officer informed CNN that the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency’s law enforcement agency, had asked the U.S. Marshal Service for assistance after threats against Fauci. The marshals then provided HHS officers with personal security for the doctor.

A source also confirmed CNN last week the presence of several members of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, who were stationed near Fauci’s home in the district at all times. The source added that the increased visible police presence was in response to growing threats to Fauci’s security, although the source of the threats was not identified.

During the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing with reporters on Wednesday, Fauci was asked if he or the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, who is also a member of the task force, had received threats of any kind or whether a security detail had been assigned to them. He said he couldn’t answer.

“Anything to do with security details would have to (ask your question) the HHS Inspector General,” he said, referring to the Ministry of Health and Human Services.

Fauci’s response was quickly interrupted by Trump, who stepped onto the podium and said the country’s most visible infectious disease expert doesn’t need protection.

“(He) doesn’t need security, everyone loves it,” Trump said. “Besides, they’d be in big trouble if they ever attacked.”

With Fauci’s growing profile in the pandemic crisis, however, concerns about its well-being also grow. Fauci’s guidance to Trump that the country should remain as blocked as possible to control the spread of the virus has not produced fans among some passionate right-wing voices.

Fauci was one of Trump’s team’s health advisors who advocated a continuation of the current guidelines after the president heard from business leaders and some conservative allies that the restrictions were more harmful than the virus itself.

In fact, Trump’s decision to expand these guidelines came after Fauci and Birx gave a strong presentation with the new models, which showed that 100,000 to 200,000 people could die, a source familiar with the president’s decision told CNN.
“They don’t create the timeline, the virus creates the timeline,” Fauci told CNN last month when asked how long the novel corona virus could affect daily life in the United States.

“You can see in a relatively short amount of time if you see the notion of flattening and descending,” he said of the slowdown in the rate of the outbreak. “But you know you can’t make an arbitrary decision until you see what you’re dealing with. You need the data.”

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