After becoming the face of the Nation’s coronavirus epidemic response, the government’s top infectious disease doctor, Anthony Fauci, is now receiving security protection, he has become a target of some overzealous supporters of President Donald Trump.
Health department leaders wanted to give Fauci an armed security detail by last weekend after the 79-year-old doctor and immunologist received unspecified threats and negative attention, even though the process took several days, said two individuals with close to the decision making body.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar grew concerned about the increasing online attacks against Fauci, whose recognisability has significantly increased since he regularly started appearing at Trump’s flank during White House coronavirus briefings. Where he repeatedly corrects and contradicts the president- and asked the department to conduct a threat assessment analysis. The decision was then conveyed to the Justice Department, which readily approved the request to deputize security for Dr. Fauci.
Dr. Fauci chose not to comment when asked at Wednesday’s press briefing about whether he was receiving security protection, instead referring such questions to the HHS Office of the Inspector General, which provides regular security to Secretary Azar and other senior officials as required. “I cannot confirm, at this time, that we are providing such services for Dr. Fauci,” said Tesia Williams, an OIG spokesperson.
The Washington Post was the first to report that Fauci was receiving a security detail.
Some of Trump’s most devoted far-right supporters have targeted Fauci online, arguing that he has been working to undermine President Trump by publicly disagreeing with the president and contradicting him. And have begun spreading conspiracy theories about Fauci’s role and how he is a Democratic plant whose mission is to humiliate the president and highlight his inadequacies as the Nation’s leader during this Pandemic.