GEORGETOWN — Some people revere him. Some people despise him. Dr. Anthony Fauci has become a household name since the coronavirus first broke out in the United States. The immunologist who lives near north Bethesda is the White House’s health advisor throughout this world-changing pandemic who has weathered attacks from some officials, including President Donald Trump, for his recommendations and insight.
Even as Fauci and his family have been the target of death threats, neighbors have recently put up signs to thank him for his work.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has had a tight security team since at least early April after he and his family received serious threats pertaining to his work designed to slow the spread of the virus. He spoke about it in a recent interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Harvard’s School of Public Health website that was streamed on Facebook live.
“The unseemly things that crises bring out in the world, it brings out the best of people and the worst of people, and getting death threats to my family and harassing my daughters to the point where I have to get security — it’s amazing,” Fauci said. “I wouldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams that people who object to things that are pure public health principles are so set against it and don’t like what you and I say, namely in the world of science, that they actually threaten you.”
Fauci and Trump administration officials have routinely expressed opposing views on how to best contain the coronavirus. Those controversial views have caused people to issue death threats against Fauci’s entire family, including him, his wife Christine Grady and their three daughters, all who live in three separate cities. NPR reported that health officials across the country also have reported receiving threatening comments online. However, residents in Fauci’s Northwest neighborhood have placed signs in their yards showing support for him.
Grady, a nurse bioethicist, shared with CNBC Make It that she also has to remind her husband to rest, drink water, eat well and sleep. The 79-year-old expert who has worked with leaders on outbreaks and pandemics such as SARS, HIV, MERS and Ebola has been working 19- and 20-hour days during the coronavirus pandemic. He historically has worked 16-hour days and as a former marathoner would run seven miles during his lunch break. Grady, 67, works at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and as a medical professional, agrees wholeheartedly with her husband.
“Take care of yourselves, use protective gear appropriate to your job, remember to always wash your hands and avoid close contact with people,” she told CNBC Make It.
This article originally appeared on the Georgetown Patch