Greenbelt, Md. (AP) — A West Virginia man was arrested Thursday after emailing Dr. Anthony Fauci and another federal health official to talk about the coronavirus and efforts to prevent its spread. Sentenced to three years in federal prison.
The Justice Department said in a news release that Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr. used an anonymous email account in Switzerland to threaten to kill Fauci or his family. One of his messages said they would be “dragged into the street, beaten to death and then set on fire”.
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 supporter of vaccines and other preventive measures against COVID-19. he said he wanted to retire At the end of Biden’s current term.
Another target was Dr. Francis Collins, director of the NIH when Connery was threatened. The Justice Department said Collins and his family would be threatened with physical assault and death if Collins continued to talk about the need for “mandatory” COVID-19 vaccinations.
Connery also admitted to sending emails to threaten Pennsylvania’s then-Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, the Justice Department said. An unidentified public health official in Massachusetts and a religious leader in New Jersey were also threatened.
“Everyone has the right to disagree, but you have no right to threaten the life of a federal officer,” Erek L. Barron, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, said in a statement.
U.S. District Judge Paula Sinise sentenced Connery, 56, to 37 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Connery recently lived in Snowshoe, West Virginia.