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Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks out on alleged threats against him: ‘I’ve chosen this life’

Dr. Anthony Fauci says that he doesn’t put too much stock in threats against him — because there’s much bigger problems in the U.S. with the spread of COVID-19.

What are the details?

Fauci, who appeared Thursday on NBC’s “Today,” said that he refuses to be distracted from his job working with the White House as a top medical adviser.

Fauci, 79, is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Host Savannah Guthrie asked Fauci whether he feels threatened because of his celebrity, and if his family feels safe.

“I’ve chosen this life,” he responded. “I mean, I know what it is. There are things about it that are sometimes disturbing. But you just focus on the job you have to do, and just put all that stuff aside and try as best as possible not to pay attention to it and just forge ahead.”

He continued, “We have a really, really, very, very difficult situation ahead of us. All that other stuff is secondary.”

Guthrie’s questions come on the heels of reports that Fauci has been put under federal protection because of personal threats.

According to the Washington Post, “The concerns include threats as well as unwelcome communications from fervent admirers, according to people with knowledge of deliberations inside the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice.”

“The exact nature of the threats against him was not clear,” the report continued. “Greater exposure has led to more praise for the doctor but also more criticism.”

What else?

Elsewhere during the interview, Fauci added that the “idea of someone who’s asymptomatic shedding high titers of virus is very disturbing.”

“[T]hat person could be out there, feeling well, and inadvertently and innocently spreading the infection,” he said. “It’s very strange how one individual can get infected and have either mild or no symptoms and another individual could rapidly deteriorate with viral pneumonia and respiratory failure.”

Fauci added that it’s high time science and medicine determine the mechanism behind the virus.

“We really need to figure it out, because it can be completely devastating rapidly in one person and absolutely nothing in another person,” he insisted.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: Coronavirus Outbreak ‘Is Going to Get Worse Before It Gets Better’ | TODAY

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‘Heartbroken’ Hoda Kotb breaks down after interviewing star quarterback Drew Brees who’s donating $5M to Louisiana for coronavirus relief

Sometimes TV news personalities feel the emotional weight of the stories and subjects they cover — and Hoda Kotb, coanchor of NBC’s “Today,” is no exception.

What happened?

Kotb on Friday morning interviewed New Orleans Saints star quarterback Drew Brees after he pledged $5 million for coronavirus relief to the state of Louisiana, which has been hit hard by the pandemic as businesses have shut down and medical supplies are badly needed.

She told Brees she was “heartbroken” seeing the new struggles citizens are dealing with in New Orleans, a city she covered earlier in her career as an anchor for local station WWL-TV.

“There’s such a need,” Kotb told Brees. “They need hospital equipment, they need all kinds of stuff. And all of a sudden on my Twitter feed yesterday, I looked and it said ‘$5 million’ and ‘Drew Brees,’ and I said, ‘Oh! He came through again!'”

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Brees noted that “there are so many people in need right now” and that the coronavirus is particularly difficult for Louisiana since “we’re a hospitality state” that can’t afford to have its restaurant industry shut down.

On Instagram Thursday, Brees said he and his wife Brittany “will be mobilizing our partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders, and Waitr to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need. Let’s all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together.”

The couple are owners or investors in the restaurant chains and food delivery service Brees noted in his post, ESPN reported, adding that they have been heavily involved in the New Orleans and Gulf South communities through their Brees Dream Foundation since the quarterback joined the Saints in 2006 and began helping in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“Hang in there and maintain hope,” Brees told those in the state as the interview with Kotb came to a close. “Obviously, we’ve been through a lot of tough times together — whether it’s hurricanes, oil spills, floods. And this is just another one of those bits of adversity that we’re going to come out better on the other side. But we’ve got to stick together right now.”

Kotb added to Brees that she believes “a lot of things are contagious, including generosity” and that she hopes because he made a “big, generous donation” that others will say, “Hey, maybe I can help out, too.”

‘I’m so sorry’

As soon as the interview concluded, Kotb was overcome with emotion and wasn’t able to deliver the tease of program’s next segment, trying to hold back tears and shuffling papers. “I’m so sorry,” she said, her voice breaking.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

“Oh, Hoda, I know it’s a lot,” coanchor Savannah Guthrie told Kotb. “Hoda, I’m so sorry, hon. Take a moment. It’s a lot. I know where your heart is, my dear, I do.” With that Guthrie offered to tease the next segment, to which Kotb replied, “Yes, please.”

In the replies underneath the “Today” video tweet of Kotb’s emotional moment, many commenters said they were touched by her humanity.

“We are in the midst of a world crisis and it’s stressful and hard,” one commenter wrote. “I’m happy to see some honest, caring, and real emotion from the wonderful Hoda.”

Kotb and Guthrie later recapped the interview and Kotb’s emotional moment:

You can watch her full interview with Brees here.