It sounds almost unimaginable that anybody in the country right now would wish harm on sweet, innocent Dr. Anthony Fauci, the gifted doctor whose pioneering work on HIV and AIDS has been credited with saving millions of lives, and whose work leading the federal COVID-19 response has been lauded as a “port in the storm” for millions of terrified Americans.
And yet, somebody somewhere apparently does.
The Hill reports that Dr. Fauci has been given a security detail after receiving threats, according to an anonymous “person familiar with the matter.”
Before taking his job as a top figure on the White House federal task force leading the government’s effort to suppress the outbreak, Dr. Fauci was the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a position he has held since 1984.
The doctor’s absence from two White House press briefings last week sparked rumors that Trump was sidelining him after he had “contradicted” the president (something the president has said he encourages his ‘expert’ advisors to do), and the PR hit was apparently enough of a concern that the doctor was swiftly returned to the lineup.
Asked whether he had been given security protection, Dr. Fauci refused to respond at Wednesday night’s briefing. But President Trump interjected, saying “everybody loves” Dr. Fauci, while noting that the good doctor was a formidable basketball player during his younger days.
“He doesn’t need security. Everybody loves him,” Trump said. “Besides that, they’d be in big trouble if they ever attacked him.”
Certainly, an attack on Fauci at such a sensitive time would garner very little sympathy, though there are some conservatives who have blamed the doctor for allegedly trying to undermine President Trump. As the Hill noted, Bill Mitchell and Tom Fitton are among those who have tweeted criticisms of Dr. Fauci recently. However, the motivations of those issuing the threats remain unclear, along with their identities.