A West Virginia man has pleaded guilty to sending death threats to several federal officials, including the nation’s top infectious disease expert, over statements they made regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr., 56, admitted Monday that he sent threatening emails to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
Connally also admitted to threatening Dr. Francis Collins, the former Director of the NIH, Dr. Rachel Levine, currently the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as a Massachusetts public health official and a religious leader, the DOJ said.
Connally sent multiple emails from Dec. 28, 2020 to July 25, 2021, using an anonymous email address from an encrypted email service provider based in Switzerland. He threatened not only the public health officials but their families as well.
In one email, Connally threatened that Fauci and his family would be “dragged into the street, beaten to death, and set on fire.” On the same day he sent that email, Connally also sent Collins, then the director of the NIH, a series of four emails threatening Collins and his family with violence and death of Collins did not stop speaking about the need for “mandatory” COVID-19 vaccinations.
The U.S. has never had a nationwide mandate requiring such vaccinations.
“As stated in his plea agreement, Connally admitted that he sent the threats to Drs. Fauci and Collins with the intent to intimidate or interfere with the performance of their official duties and with the intent to retaliate against Dr. Fauci and Dr. Collins for performing their official duties, including discussing COVID-19 and its testing and prevention,” the DOJ press release said.
Connally also admitted to sending threatening emails to six threatening emails on Nov. 24, 2020, to Levine, then Secretary of Health for the State of Pennsylvania, at her email account at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The subject lines and the body of the emails threatened Levine with physical violence and death, the DOJ said.
Connally acknowledged sending threatening emails to several people who have not been publicly identified.
“Similarly, on Aug. 31, 2020, Connally sent an email threatening physical violence and death for a public health official in Massachusetts,” the DOJ press release says. “Finally, on April 21, 2021, Connally sent a series of four threatening emails to four individuals who work for a religious institution in Newark, New Jersey. The four emails threatened physical violence and death to a religious leader at the institution.”
As Law&Crime previously reported, Connally’s threats were disturbing and graphic, and some included homophobic and antisemitic slurs.
“You and your disgusting wife and daughters are getting 6 mandatory shots to their disgusting pig snouts while you watch,” said one message of at least seven threats that Connally sent Fauci.
One message to Collins had the subject line: “‘white evangelicals’ are going to smash your wife’s teeth out with baseball bats.”
“You sickening dirty piece of anti-White racist k*** DOG SHIT,” the message said, with the antisemitic slur unredacted in the original.
Connally faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison for threats against a federal official, the DOJ said. Connally’s sentencing was set for August 4.
[Image via Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images.]
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