Dr. Anthony Fauci says he has security detail after reportedly receiving "serious threats" to the well-being of his family.
What are the details?
In a Friday interview with David Axelrod on CNN's "The Axe Files" that he and his family — thrust into a very public spotlight amid the COVID-19 pandemic — have been the subject of harassment.
"Serious threats agains me, against my family," he recalled. "My daughters, my life. I mean, really? Is this the United States of America?"
Such threats required him to receive security detail for his protection.
Fauci says he believes the threats stem from the perception that he is "pushing a public health agenda."
"There are people who get really angry at thinking I'm interfering with their life," he admitted. "I'm not a hero — I'm just doing my job."
Fauci explained that he's received a fair amount of criticisms over the years while working in public health — including during the 1980s HIV epidemic — but nothing stacks up to what he's reportedly enduring now.
"I've seen a side of society that I guess is understandable, but it's a little bit disturbing," he admitted. "Back in the days of HIV when I was being criticized with some hate mail, it was ... people calling me a gay lover and 'What the hell are you doing wasting a lot of time on that?'"
Fauci said that he'd often just dismiss the remarks as a difference of opinion and move on.
What changed in 2020?
In 2020, however, the tenor has apparently changed.
"[It's] really a magnitude different now, because of the anger," he insisted.
This time it's not just hate mail, he says — it's "serious threats."
"It's not good," he said. "I suppose what this reflects is the divisiveness of our society at a political level. I mean, this is a public-health issue, the fundamental principles of public health, and I don't see how people can have animosity to that.
"[T]he hostility to public health issues is difficult not only to understand, but difficult to process," Fauci added.