The right-wing campaign against Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, seems to have resulted in a swell of hatred and anger against Fauci and his family.
“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,” Fauci told CNN's David Axelrod on his The Axe Files podcast, according to The Hill.
The threats come as we see the country politically divided over public health measures, from wearing masks to reopening schools, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Republicans across the party, as well as conservative news outlets like Fox News, have frequently criticized Fauci for his public health recommendations. Most recently, the Trump Administration put out a set of talking points to journalists, listing what they considered Fauci’s failures. This concentrated effort to discredit the country’s leading infectious disease expert seems to have resulted in not only hateful words, but physical threats.
"It's tough," he said. "Serious threats against me, against my wife, against my daughters. I mean, really? Is this the United States of America?"
As a result of the threats, Fauci has been assigned security to protect him.
"I don't see how people can have animosity to that. I understand you have to be careful because of the negative consequences of shutting down – that's understandable. Which is why we are all trying to open up America again in a way that is safe, that we can do in a measured fashion," he said. "But the hostility against public health issues is difficult not only to understand, but difficult to process."
Despite the obvious bad blood between Fauci and leading Republicans, including Donald Trump, Trump himself claims their relationship is “very good.”
This week the United States passed 4 million cases of COVID-19 cases as it nears 150,000 deaths.