Dr. Anthony Fauci given added security after threats and 'fervent admirers'
Anthony Fauci, who leads research into infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health. (AFP)

Dr. Anthony Fauci was nothing more than a run-of-the-mill infectious-diseases expert at the National Institutes of Health until the coronavirus hit and he was brought into the task force. Now he's getting threats against his life.

Americans might be dodging the contagious COVID-19 but Dr. Fauci is facing an additional threat, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. As a result, he's been giving security protection while he's trying to save lives.

"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," the report said, with disturbing detail.

Fauci is one of the many medical advisers for President Donald Trump. While he was initially ignored by the president's team, he ultimately gained the president's respect and confidence. Along with Dr. Deborah Birx, Fauci has fact-checked leaders giving incorrect information and advocated for social-distancing.

His latest news is of the horrific model showing the extent to which the coronavirus is expected to spread and the lives it will claim.

"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," wrote the Post. "Alex Azar, the HHS secretary, recently grew concerned about Fauci’s safety as his profile rose and he endured more vitriolic criticism online, according to people familiar with the situation. In recent weeks, admirers have also approached Fauci, asking to him sign baseballs, along with other acts of adulation. It was determined that Fauci should have a security detail. Azar also has a security detail because he is in the presidential line of succession."

The U.S. Marshals deputized agents to to serve as protection for the physician, according to the HHS inspector general.

Read the full report.