A West Virginia man was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison after sending threatening emails to Dr. Anthony Fauci and another federal health official for talking about the coronavirus and efforts to prevent its spread.
Using an anonymous e-mail account registered in Switzerland, Thomas Patrick Connally Jr. threatened to kill Fauci or members of his family, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release. One of his emails said they would be "dragged out into the street, beaten to death and set on fire."
Another e-mail said Fauci would be "harassed, captured, tortured and killed."
Fauci is President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Fauci has been a strong supporter of vaccines and other preventive measures against COVID-19. He said he expected to resign at the end of Biden's current term.
Another target was Dr. Francis Collins, who was director of the National Institutes of Health at the time of Connally's threats. The Justice Department said that Collins and his family were threatened with physical harm and death if Collins continued to talk about the need for "mandatory" COVID-19 vaccinations.