KEY POINTS

  • Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr. pleaded guilty Monday 
  • Connally would face a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison for threatening a federal official
  • The court has scheduled his sentencing for Aug. 4

A West Virginia man has admitted sending death threats to several federal and state health officials including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert over their stance on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.

The 56-year-old man, identified as Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr. pleaded guilty Monday to sending a series of threatening emails to kill the health officials and their families, the Department of Justice said in a  news release.

Connally admitted sending a series of encrypted emails threatening to kill Dr. Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health(NIH), and members of his family. In one of the emails, Connally threatened that Dr. Fauci would be "dragged into the street, beaten to death and set on fire."

Connally also admitted sending death threats to Dr. Francis Collins, the former Director of the NIH, Dr. Rachel Levine, the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a Massachusetts public health official and a religious leader. 

Connally said in the plea agreement that he had sent four emails threatening Dr. Collins and his family with physical assault and death if he did not stop speaking about the need for "mandatory" COVID-19 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 news release said.

Connally’s emails contained homophobic and antisemitic slurs with disturbing and graphic threats,  reported news outlet Law & Crime. "Hope you get a bullet in your compromised satanic skull today," Connally said in a missive to Dr. Fauci on Dec. 28, 2020.

He was arrested in July 2021 and would face a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison for threatening a federal official. The court has scheduled his sentencing for Aug. 4.

Dr. Anthony Fauci Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci speaks during the daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on January 21, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images) Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images