Man sentenced to 3 years in prison after threatening Fauci, other health official

Click to play video: 'White House to prioritize boosters, testing for Omicron BA.5 subvariant' White House to prioritize boosters, testing for Omicron BA.5 subvariant
The White House said on Tuesday it will ensure Americans continue to have easy access to COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and testing to contain the fast-spreading Omicron BA.5 subvariant as Dr. Antony Fauci explained there are indications the subvariant might be better at escaping immunity, including from prior infections. The BA.5 and BA.4 subvariants together accounted for more than 80 per cent of circulating variants in the U.S. last week, according to officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Jul 12, 2022

A West Virginia man was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison after he sent emails threatening Dr. Anthony Fauci and another federal health official for talking about the coronavirus and efforts to prevent its spread.

Using an anonymous email account based in Switzerland, Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr. threatened to kill Fauci or members of his family, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release. One of his messages said they would be “dragged into the street, beaten to death, and set on fire.”

Read more: After 1st U.S. polio case in a decade, doctors in Canada stress vaccination

Another email said Fauci would be “hunted, captured, tortured and killed,” according to court records.

Fauci is President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Fauci has been a vocal supporter of vaccines and other preventive measures against COVID-19. He said he expects to retire at the end of Biden’s current term.

Story continues below advertisement

Another target was Dr. Francis Collins, who was director of NIH at the time of Connally’s threats. Collins and his family were threatened with physical assault and death if Collins continued to speak about the need for “mandatory” COVID-19 vaccinations, the Justice Department said.

Connally also admitted to sending emails threatening Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s then-Secretary of Health, the Justice Department said. An unidentified public health official in Massachusetts and a religious leader in New Jersey were also threatened.

Click to play video: 'Must be ‘very careful’ not to vaccinate with ‘live’ polio vaccine: Fauci' Must be ‘very careful’ not to vaccinate with ‘live’ polio vaccine: Fauci
Must be ‘very careful’ not to vaccinate with ‘live’ polio vaccine: Fauci – Jul 22, 2022

“Everyone has the right to disagree, but you do not have the right to threaten a federal official’s life,” Erek L. Barron, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, said in a statement.

U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis sentenced Connally to 37 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Connally most recently lived in Snowshoe, West Virginia.

Story continues below advertisement

He was arrested last summer, and pleaded guilty in May to making threats against a federal official.

Sponsored content