National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci has been assigned national security detail after reportedly receiving threats
Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director, has played an instrumental role in the nation’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. While many of us consider the nation’s top expert on the highly infectious and deadly disease a hero and appreciate his willingness to stand up to President Donald Trump on his coronavirus misinformation, not everyone is a fan. In fact, according to recent reports, the 79-year-old is facing threats to his personal safety to the extent that he has been assigned his own security team.
The Washington Post was the first to report the security threat. However, a law enforcement official told CNN that the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General, the agency’s law enforcement arm, asked the US Marshals Service for aid due to the threats. As a result, the Marshals deputized HHS officers to act as personal security for Dr. Fauci.
Additionally, last week a source confirmed to CNN that several members of the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department were stationed at all times around Dr. Fauci’s home due to “growing threats” to his safety.
Interestingly enough, during the daily White House coronavirus task force briefing with reporters on Wednesday, he was asked if he had received any threats or if he had been assigned a detail and declined to answer.
“Anything that has to do with security detail I would have to have you (ask your question) to the inspector general of HHS,” he said, referencing the Department of Health and Human Services. Trump then interjected, declaring that a security team wasn’t necessary due to his popularity.
“(He) doesn’t need security, everybody loves them,” said Trump. “Besides that, they’d be in big trouble if they ever attacked.”
Dr. Fauci then appeared on CBS This Morning on Thursday and addressed the reports, confirming to Gayle King that he had been given a personal security detail due to threats. However, he also made it clear that he doesn’t feel like a victim.
Dr. Fauci on the personal pressure and reports that he now needs security: "You know, it's my job. This is the life I've chosen, and I'm doing it. I mean, obviously there's a lot of pressure. I would be foolish to deny that... It's a job to do, and we've just got to do it." pic.twitter.com/Gt8l4z2r1E— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) April 2, 2020
“You know, it’s my job,” he told her. “This is the life I’ve chosen, and I’m doing it. I mean, obviously there’s a lot of pressure. I would be foolish to deny that. … It’s a job to do, and we’ve just got to do it.”
He added that this isn’t his first time at the infectious disease rodeo.
“I’ve been through crises like this before,” he said, likely referring to the HIV epidemic in the 1980s.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 2, 2020
He echoed this statement to NBC during an appearance on TODAY, when asked if he felt safe. “You know, I do. … I’ve chosen this life and I mean I know what it is. There are things about it that are sometimes disturbing but you just focus on the job you have to do and just put all of that stuff aside and try as best as possible not to pay attention to it,” he said.