Isaac Stanley-Becker, Yasmeen Abutaleb and Devlin Barrett, The Washington Post
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-diseases expert and the face of the U.S. response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, is facing growing threats to his personal safety, prompting the government to step up his security, according to people familiar with the matter.
The concerns include threats as well as unwelcome communications from fervent admirers, according to people with knowledge of deliberations inside the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice.
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 Donald Trump’s misstatements. Along with Deborah Birx, the coordinator for the White House’s task force, Fauci has encouraged the president to extend the timeline for social-distancing guidelines, presenting him with grim models about the possible toll of the pandemic.
“Now is the time, whenever you’re having an effect, not to take your foot off the accelerator and on the brake, but to just press it down on the accelerator,” he said Tuesday as the White House’s task force made some of those models public, warning of 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the United States.