Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. and Dr. Anthony Fauci. GRAEME JENNINGS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said he’d received death threats for his criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Paul has recently accused Fauci of misleading the public on the possible origins of the coronavirus.

Fauci has called attacks from the right “nonsense” and a “distraction.”

See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told Fox News on Friday that he’s been receiving death threats for his public criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert.

In recent days, Paul has accused Fauci of misleading the public about the origins of the coronavirus.

The accusation is based on recently released emails Fauci exchanged at the beginning of the pandemic, discussing the possibility of COVID-19 being created in a lab, at a time when he was publicly downplaying the theory.

He also said Fauci lied about funding research into the weaponizing of coronaviruses at the Wuhan lab now being considered as a possible site COVID-19 originated.

“I’ve had five death threats just for being outspoken on it this week,” Paul told Sean Hannity on Friday. “I’ve had five death threats. I don’t know what the world is coming to, you can’t ask honest, difficult questions that in the end have proved out that Dr. Fauci was not being honest with us, but as a repercussion, my family had white powder sent to our house, and five death threats phone in.”

A representative of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, in Paul’s home state, referred Insider to the US Capitol Police for confirmation of the death threats on Sunday. As of Sunday morning, the US Capitol Police had not returned Insider’s email requesting confirmation of the death threats.

Meanwhile, Fauci has defended himself against the attacks he’s been receiving from the right.

In an interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC Friday night, Fauci called the accusations that he lied to the public “fabricated,” “nonsense” and a “distraction.

Story continues

“My job was to make a vaccine and use my institute and these talented scientists that we have there and that we fund in the various universities to get a vaccine that was highly safe and highly effective,” he said.

“We succeeded. All the other stuff is just a terrible, not happy type of distraction. But it’s all nonsense.”

He also maintained in a CNN interview on Thursday that he believes the coronavirus originated naturally.

“I still believe the most likely origin is from an animal species to a human, but I keep an absolutely open mind that if there may be other origins of that, there may be another reason, it could have been a lab leak,” Fauci said.

Read the original article on Business Insider