Fauci Responds To Death Threats Like a Hero

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Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, who has worked in public health for decades, has apparently faced a spike in death threats amidst his current work on the federal government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak, which has sparked the reported assignment of a security detail for the doctor. Although the exact nature of all the threats doesn’t appear publicly spelled out, some particularly virulent Trump supporters have come up with and spread the completely baseless conspiracy theory that Fauci is conspiring to undermine the president. This week on CBS, Fauci suggested that he’s not overly concerned about the threats and is focusing on doing his job.

He told host Gayle King:

‘You know, it’s my job. This is the life I’ve chosen, and I’m doing it. 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, thirty-seven years from the very beginning of the HIV epidemic. It’s a job to do, and we’ve just got to do it.’

Watch below:

Throughout the crisis, Fauci has taken a consistently focused approach to dealing with the crisis. He’s not gotten into political spats; instead, he has attempted to consistently convey the gravity of the situation and potential outcomes in order to enact effective policy changes. He was among those who apparently convinced the president to recently extend national social distancing guidelines until the end of April, and he was also among those at the press conference this week where the administration shared the forecast that as many as 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die from the Coronavirus — which, to put the figure in perspective, is higher than the American death toll in the entire Vietnam War.

During his time on CBS, Fauci noted that those numbers are not set in stone, which is why authorities around the country have been attempting to enact social distancing in order to stem the spread of the virus for long enough to get the situation under control — even though the projections do assume that at least some social distancing is in place. (Projections without social distancing in place are much higher.)

Fauci commented:

‘It’s within our power to modify those numbers. Those numbers that you heard the other day… were… based on a model. You model what the projection might be, and the projection was that even with considerable mitigation, you still could anticipate between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths. However, if you really push hard on mitigation and data comes in that tells you you’re doing better than the model, you can modify the model… We shouldn’t give up and accept it and say okay, that’s gonna happen. We need to push and push.’

Watch below:

Trump has consistently had to be convinced to “push and push.” It wasn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things that he was calling the virus concern a hoax altogether. Now, as large numbers of Americans die, he’s slowly getting cajoled into acting — and he’s still failing to take needs like more testing and medical supplies seriously.