Anthony FauciAnthony FauciGOP questions whether Trump will stick to new coronavirus approach Almost 3,500 public health experts sign letter in support of Fauci Overnight Health Care: Pfizer lands nearly b from Trump administration for COVID vaccine | FEMA head: ‘We have a ways to go’ on having enough PPE | Fauci on coronavirus: ‘I don’t really see us eradicating it’ MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said Thursday that he has received “serious threats” to himself and his family since he became one of the public faces of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The doctor said that the anger has appeared on a different level than when he began his work during the HIV/AIDS crisis.
“I’ve seen a side of society that I guess is understandable but it’s a little bit disturbing. 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’ … things that you would just push aside as stupid people saying stupid things,” Fauci told CNN’s David AxelrodDavid AxelrodCuban, Walker battle over Black Lives Matter on NBA courts during Fox special Mark Cuban says he’s decided not to run for president The Hill’s Campaign Report: Senate map shows signs of expanding MORE on his “The Axe Files” podcast.
In 2020, Fauci said, “It’s really a magnitude different,” because “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.”
This, he said, has led to both hate mail and “serious threats against me, against my family … my daughters, my wife — I mean, really? Is this the United States of America?”
Fauci added that he had been assigned security due to some of these threats.
Axelrod also noted reports that several House Republicans had called for Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyHouse votes to remove Confederate statues from Capitol The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Dems to GOP: Where is your COVID-19 bill? Bolton defends Cheney amid clash with House conservatives MORE’s (R-Wyo.) removal as head of the House Republican Caucus for defending Fauci’s performance during the pandemic.
“Isn’t that weird, David? I mean, it just doesn’t make any sense,” Fauci responded. “I guess it’s just a reflection of the divisiveness in our society at the political level.”
“I can understand very well that you have to be careful because of the negative consequences of things like shutting down … but the hostility against public health issues is difficult not only to understand, but difficult to even process,” he added.
Fauci’s comments come after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he would be comfortable sending son, grandchildren to school in person Cafeteria worker on White House grounds tests positive for COVID-19: reports Republicans to start unveiling coronavirus package Thursday MORE recently characterized the doctor as “a little bit of an alarmist.” Fauci refuted the characterization, saying that he was a realist.
Trump maintains that his relationship with the doctor, however, remains “very good.”