Dr. Anthony Fauci has to be accompanied on walks by federal agents after receiving death threats in response to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The country’s top infectious disease expert was seen accompanied by the security detail in an episode of 60 Minutes, where it was revealed he must resort to power walking with them due to the harassment his family has received.
Fauci’s wife Dr. Christine Grady told the show that it frustrates her husband how ‘the same message has to sort of be reiterated over and over again because either people don’t hear it, or they don’t believe it, or they don’t adopt it,’ and now their children are having to deal with the repercussions.
‘That’s sad. The very fact that a public health message to save lives triggers such venom and animosity to me that it results in real and credible threats to my life and my safety,’ Dr. Fauci, 79, told interviewer Dr. Jon LaPook on the CBS show.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci is seen on 60 Minutes accompanied by federal agents while exercising after receiving death threats and his family being harassed
He said it’s ‘sad’ that a ‘public health message to save lives triggers such venom and animosity to me that it results in real and credible threats to my life’
‘But it bothers me less than the hassling of my wife and my children.’
The couple have three adult daughters; Jennifer, 34, Megan, 31, and Alison, 28.
Dr. Fauci explained that the death threats have been for ‘mostly me’ but Dr. Grady added that there has been ‘harassment against all of us.’
Confirming that his other relatives have been threatened, Dr. Fauci responded: ‘Yes. I mean, like, give me a break.’
A point of contention with the American public has been mask-wearing.
At the start of the pandemic when medical professionals were running short on PPE, experts said the general public need not routinely wear masks.
However, once researchers discovered that coronavirus was contagious even from the asymptomatic, face coverings were increasingly encouraged.
President Trump has questioned Fauci’s credibility while former Vice President Joe Biden has defended the advice being altered as experts learned new information.
The 79-year-old is seen walking with his wife in the 60 Minutes footage
Dr. Fauci explained that the death threats have been for ‘mostly me’ but his wife Dr. Christine Grady added that there has been ‘harassment against all of us’
‘So let’s see if we could put this to rest once and for all,’ Fauci added on 60 Minutes.
‘It became clear that cloth coverings, things like this here, and not necessarily a surgical mask or an N95, cloth coverings, work.
‘So now there’s no longer a shortage of masks. Number two, meta-analysis studies show that, contrary to what we thought, masks really do work in preventing infection.’
Fauci got a security detail in April.
During a live stream with CNN this August he said the pandemic ‘brings out the best of people and the worst of people’.
‘I wouldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams that people who object to things that are pure public health principles are so set against it and don’t like what you and I say, namely in the world of science, that they actually threaten you,’ he told Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
‘Getting death threats for me and my family and harassing my daughters to the point where I have to get security, it’s amazing.’
Fauci said it it bothers him ‘less than the hassling’ of his wife, Dr. Christine Grady, and their three adult daughters. The couple have three adult daughters; Jennifer, 34, Megan, 31, and Alison, 28
During an earlier interview on the subject in July, he called the threats ‘a little bit disturbing’.
Fauci revealed that it is not the first time he’s been threatened and said it also occurred during the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the 1980s and 1990s.
‘Back in the days of HIV when I was being criticized with some hate mail, it was, you know, people calling me a gay-lover and “What the hell are you wasting a lot of time on that?”‘ he said.
‘I mean, things that you would just push aside as stupid people saying stupid things.’
However, Fauci said there are differences in the threats he received back then and the ones now.
‘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,’ he said.
‘[This has led to] not only hate mail but serious threats against me, against my family…my daughters, my wife – I mean, really? Is this the United States of America?’