National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci on Thursday responded to reports that he has been given a personal security detail due to receiving threats, telling CBS’s Gayle King that despite the pressure he is facing, “it’s my job.”
“You know, it’s my job. This is the life I’ve chosen, and I’m doing it,” Fauci said. “I mean, obviously there’s a lot of pressure. I would be foolish to deny that. … It’s a job to do, and we’ve just got to do it.”
“I’ve been through crises like this before,” he said, referring back to the HIV epidemic in the 1980s.
In the same interview, Fauci said that Americans should not be discouraged by what King called “frightening” projections of the potential spread and death toll from the virus.
“It’s within our power to modify those numbers,” Fauci said of projections indicating up to 240,000 could die even with social distancing precautions. “You model what the projection might be, and the projection was even with considerable mitigation, you still could anticipate between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths.”
“However, if you really push hard on mitigation and data comes in that tells you you’re doing better than the model, you can modify the model,” he added.
Fauci, who has held his position since 1984, has reportedly been given a security detail amid an increase in threats made against him, and a small contingent of supporters of President Trump has vocally criticized his blunt assessments of the pandemic even as Trump and Fauci have both denied any rift.
Trump has repeatedly praised Fauci’s performance during the outbreak.
News [email protected] THEHILL