Health officials worldwide are receiving death threats because of their work to educate the public and stop the spread of COVID-19

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public health officials Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young

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Around the world, health officials are facing death threats as they attempt to advise their respective population on ways to reduced or contain the spread of the coronavirus. 

Last month, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top-infectious disease expert, said he received death threats because of the “political tone” of the virus.

Fauci has advised for social distancing measures, expanded testing, and contact tracing, among other efforts to quell the spread of the coronavirus in the US. His advice has sometimes gone against statements made by President Donald Trump.

In Australia, Queensland’s chief health officer, Jeannette Young also faced threats, The Australian reported. 

Young now has police stationed outside her house after she closed Queensland borders with neighboring states, which prevented some residents from attending funerals of loved ones. The move was made in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

In Germany, experts like Karl Lauterbach and Christian Drosten also said their received death threats after the country imposed a shutdown and closed schools in the spring, The Washington Post reported. 

Anders Tegnell, the “architect” behind Sweden’s relaxed coronavirus approach, reported to police he and his family faced death threats. 

Earlier this summer, The National Association of County and City Health Officials reported that at least 24 public health officials in the US either quit, left, or retired from their positions in the months since the pandemic began in January 2020. 

“Across the country, in red states and blue states, large metropolitan areas and rural communities, public health department officials and staff have been physically threatened and politically scapegoated,” the organization wrote in a statement.

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“Too many have lost their jobs for trying to protect and defend the health of their community in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the organization said. “Many others have stepped down, interrupting their careers, to protect themselves and their loved ones from actual or perceived threats.”

In Kentucky, one county stopped providing coronavirus information after receiving negative comments and a death threat. Grayson County health officials stopped giving updates on social media because the comments were impacting their mental health, WDRB reported. They resumed two weeks after the threats, and told the outlet they began blocking people to avoid “toxic” information. 

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Source:: Business Insider

      

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