Dr. Anthony Fauci, a prominent health expert on the White House Coronavirus Task Force whose urgent messaging on the COVID-19 outbreak has been at odds with that of President Donald Trump, has been receiving threats.
Tesia Williams, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, told TPM in an emailed statement that the office “assesses and recommends the appropriate level of protection.”
“I cannot confirm, at this time, that we are providing such services for Dr. Fauci,” she said.
Fauci’s warnings against not taking the coronavirus seriously had been in noticeable conflict with Trump’s minimization of the pandemic in effort to rescue the plummeting stock market. One example was when Fauci batted down Trump’s dismissal of the medical supply shortage, telling a reporter that “it is happening” despite the President’s claims otherwise.
Though Trump vowed to “rely on experts” when it comes to responding to COVID-19, the New York Times has reported that clear contradiction between his messaging and that of Fauci has been privately angering Trump.
During the task force’s daily briefing on Wednesday, the President claimed Fauci “doesn’t need security.”
“Everybody loves him,” Trump told reporters.
This story has been updated to include a statement from the HHS inspector general’s office.