A West Virginian man has pleaded guilty to making death threats against Dr. Anthony Fauci, just as the embattled director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that he would quit that post, if Donald Trump returns to the White House in 2024.
Many conservatives expressed relief when Dr. Anthony Fauci declared he would not stick around as chief medical adviser at the White House if former President Donald Trump wins the 2024 election.
Fauci, who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since the 1980s and became the face of the federal government’s fight against coronavirus in early 2020, laughed and said “no” when asked recently on CNN if he’d stay on for a potential second Trump term.
Meanwhile, harkening to the unpopularity of Fauci, a West Virginia man pleaded guilty last week to sending emails that threatened Fauci and former National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, federal prosecutors in Maryland said.
Thomas Patrick Connally Jr., 56, most recently of Snowshoe, West Virginia, pleaded guilty to making threats against a federal official, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron, announced in a news release. Connally also admitted threatening former Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, a Massachusetts public health official and a religious leader in New Jersey.
Beginning in December 2020 and up to just days before being arrested in July 2021 in West Virginia and charged, Connally used an encrypted email service to send a series of emails to Fauci, threatening the official and his family, according to Connally’s plea agreement.
On April 24, 2021, Connally sent Collins four emails threatening Collins and his family with physical assault and death if Collins didn’t stop speaking about the need for COVID-19 vaccinations, according to the plea. That same night he sent a string of seven threatening emails to Fauci, the court documents show.
As to Fauci saying he would resign if Donald Trump should be re-elected president, the admission should come as no surprise. Former President Trump frequently clashed with Fauci during the first year of the pandemic about hydroxychloroquine, testing, reopening businesses, curtailing travel from China, and several other issues. As a result, Fauci has emerged as a symbol of COVID-era lockdowns and restrictions in the eyes of many Trump supporters. Many took to Twitter after learning that Fauci decided he wouldn’t want to work for Trump again.
“Best possible endorsement for Trump in 2024. Good riddance to this corrupt, evil little elf,” The Federalist CEO Sean Davis reacted.
Fox News contributor Leo Terrell said Fauci would need to quit or else he’d be “fired immediately,” while conservative podcaster Graham Allen responded, “Talk about two birds with one stone!!!”
Outkick founder Clay Travis, a longtime critic of Fauci, also suggested the comment would benefit Trump’s chances of re-election.
“This is the greatest endorsement of Donald Trump in 2024 possible,” Travis tweeted.