The U.S. government has beefed up security for Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert who is a prominent member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, in response to growing threats to his personal safety.
The Washington Post reports: Fauci, 79, is the most outspoken member of the administration in favor of sweeping public health guidelines and is among the few officials willing to correct President Trump’s misstatements. … The exact nature of the threats against him was not clear. Greater exposure has led to more praise for the doctor but also more criticism. Fauci has become a public target for some right-wing commentators and bloggers, who exercise influence over parts of the president’s base. As they press for the president to ease restrictions to reinvigorate economic activity, some of these figures have assailed Fauci and questioned his expertise. Last month, an article depicting him as an agent of the “deep state” gained nearly 25,000 interactions on Facebook — meaning likes, comments and shares — as it was posted to large pro-Trump groups with titles such as “Trump Strong” and “Tampa Bay Trump Club.”
Fauci addressed the threats during an appearance Thursday morning on the Today Show:
More background from Politico: The far-right’s most zealous Trump supporters have set their sights on Dr. Anthony Fauci. To the vast majority of Republicans, the entire medical community and the country at large, Fauci is the government’s leading infectious disease expert, respected for providing Americans with consistent, factual information about the coronavirus pandemic — even if it means contradicting President Donald Trump while he hovers feet away. But to a vocal minority of right-wing blogs and pro-Trump pundits, Fauci is the embodiment of the establishment forces that have been arrayed against the president since he came to Washington. And those voices are getting louder amid rumblings about Fauci’s standing with Trump as the president itches to get the economy restarted in the coming weeks. “A Deep-State Hillary Clinton-loving stooge,” read a Saturday headline on the American Thinker, a far-right website, latching on to a WikiLeaks-released email that showed Fauci praising Clinton for her Benghazi testimony as secretary of State.