Dr. Fauci to receive additional security following threats

Federal officials are ramping up security for Dr. Anthony Fauci after threats were made against him, multiple officials from the Department of Justice confirmed to CBS News. The increase in security came at the request of the Health and Human Services Inspector General (HHS IG), the officials said. 

The Department of Health and Human Services requested that U.S. Marshals deputize a group of agents in the office of the HHS IG to handle the doctor’s protection, and the request was approved by the Department of Justice, according to the officials. 

The officials did not expand on the nature of the threats, or provide detail on the extent of physical protection Dr. Fauci will receive. 

Dr. Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is one of the most prominent and respected voices in the nation’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and appears regularly at the White House’s daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings. 

In an interview with “CBS This Morning” on Thursday, Dr. Fauci addressed his enhanced security and whether he feels any personal pressure as a leader of the government’s coronavirus response.

“This is the life I’ve chosen, and I’m doing it,” he said. “I mean, obviously there’s a lot of pressure. I would be foolish to deny that. But that’s what I do. I’ve been through crises like this before dating back, you know, 37 years from the very beginning of the HIV epidemic. It’s a job to do, and we’ve just got to do it.”

Although he has occasionally stepped in to correct or dial back claims President Trump has made about the nation’s effort to stop the virus, Dr. Fauci has emphasized that he and Trump are working together well. 

“To [Trump’s] credit, even though we disagree on some things, he listens,” Fauci said. “He goes his own way. He has his own style. But on substantive issues, he does listen to what I say.”

When asked at Wednesday’s briefing if he or Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, had received threats or been given a security detail, Dr. Fauci referred the reporter to the inspector general of HHS. 

“He doesn’t need security, everybody loves him,” President Trump chimed in. “They’d be in big trouble if they ever attacked.”  

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