Donald Trump’s top medical advisor receives deaths threats
Anthony Fauci forced to increase security after being targeted by far-right groups
The US’s top medical expert on the coronavirus has been given a security detail after receiving death threats from far-right groups who believe him to be part of the so-called “deep state” working against Donald Trump.
US Marshals have been called in to act as personal security for Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, while police have also been stationed outside his home in Washington D.C.
Described by the Daily Mail as “the public face of reason during the coronavirus outbreak”, Fauci has long been celebrated in the medical world, CNN says. “Now, because of his work as a key member of the White House's coronavirus task force, he's grown into an overnight celebrity with a large fanbase”.
USA today reports that a flurry of Fauci-themed items have sprung up in recent weeks, ranging from cupcakes and donuts, to socks and candles.
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For many, “the calm, focused health professional has been a steady voice of expertise and reassurance in a time of crisis,” reports Reuters.
But as a strong advocate of emergency measures including stay-at-home orders to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, the news agency says he has also “become a target of the far right after he corrected several of President Donald Trump’s statements relating to the outbreak”.
His “reputation as a truth-teller for his blunt talk and willingness to correct Trump” has led to “intense criticism and backlash among corners of the conservative internet and some of Trump’s supporters” says The Hill.
Fauci went viral last month when he put his hand over his face when the president referred to the State Department as the “deep State Department”, “suggesting there are people on the inside who are working against him,” says CNBC.
Seeking to downplay any rift and threat to Fauci, Trump told a press conference this week the nation’s most visible infectious disease expert does not require protection.
“He doesn’t need security, everybody loves them,” said Trump. “Besides that, they’d be in big trouble if they ever attacked.”
The Guardian reports that coronavirus has now spread to all 50 states in the US, with more than 243,000 confirmed cases in the country.
New York state has emerged as a battlefront, with 92,506 cases and 2,373 deaths. This constitutes 38% of the cases in the US.