West Virginia Man Gets 3 Years For Threatening Dr. Fauci, Other Officials

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A West Virginia man was sentenced Thursday to 3 years in federal jail after he despatched emails threatening Dr. Anthony Fauci and one other federal well being official for speaking concerning the coronavirus and efforts to stop its unfold.

Utilizing an nameless electronic mail account based mostly in Switzerland, Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr. threatened to kill Fauci or members of his household, the U.S. Division of Justice mentioned in a information launch. One in every of his messages mentioned they’d be “dragged into the street, beaten to death, and set on fire.”

One other electronic mail mentioned Fauci could be “hunted, captured, tortured and killed,” in line with courtroom information.

Fauci is President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser and director of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments, which is a part of the Nationwide Institutes of Well being in Bethesda, Maryland. Fauci has been a vocal supporter of vaccines and different preventive measures in opposition to COVID-19. He mentioned he expects to retire on the finish of Biden’s present time period.

One other goal was Dr. Francis Collins, who was director of NIH on the time of Connally’s threats. Collins and his household have been threatened with bodily assault and loss of life if Collins continued to discuss the necessity for “mandatory” COVID-19 vaccinations, the Justice Division mentioned.

Connally additionally admitted to sending emails threatening Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s then-Secretary of Well being, the Justice Division mentioned. An unidentified public well being official in Massachusetts and a spiritual chief in New Jersey have been additionally threatened.

“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. Lawyer for the District of Maryland, mentioned in a press release.

U.S. District Decide Paula Xinis sentenced Connally, 56, to 37 months in jail adopted by three years of supervised launch. Connally most not too long ago lived in Snowshoe, West Virginia.

He was arrested final summer season, and pleaded responsible in Could to creating threats in opposition to a federal official.