As U.S. Covid-19 cases surge amid an unprecedented wave of Omicron variant infections, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday parried a salvo of attacks by Republican senators, led by Rand Paul, who object to his expert-endorsed countermeasures against the unrelenting pandemic.\r\n\r\n\u0022I have... threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me.\u0022\r\n\r\nDuring a Senate hearing, Paul (Ky.) accused Fauci—who is also the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden—of using his \u0022$420,000 salary to attack scientists that disagree\u0022 with him.\r\n\r\nFauci retorted: \u0022In usual fashion, senator, you are distorting everything about me. It\u0026#039;s the same thing every year... You keep distorting the truth.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022We are here at a committee to look at a virus now that has killed nearly 900,000 people,\u0022 he continued. \u0022And the purpose of the committee was to try to get things out, how we can help the American public. And you keep coming back to personal attacks on me.\u0022\r\n\r\nAddressing the panel, Fauci said, \u0022What happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue is that all of a sudden that kindles the crazies out there and I have... threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHolding up a printed screenshot of a Paul campaign fundraising email calling for Fauci\u0026#039;s termination, the doctor noted the arrest in Iowa last month of a man who was driving from California to Washington, D.C. with a \u0022hit list\u0022 and the alleged intent to assassinate him, Biden, and other government officials.\r\n\r\n\u0022The police asked him where he was going and he was going to Washington, D.C. to kill Dr. Fauci,\u0022 he said. \u0022They found in his car an AR-15 and multiple magazines of ammunition because he thinks that maybe I\u0026#039;m killing people.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAnother Republican senator, Roger Marshall of Kansas, asked Fauci about emails pertaining to purportedly top-secret—yet unverified—documents leaked by the far-right, conspiracy theory-prone group Project Veritas claiming to link the NIAID chief with the creation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 in a Wuhan, China laboratory. Far-right figures including U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and commentator Candace Owens have amplified the unsubstantiated claim.\r\n\r\n\u0022It really pains me to have to just point out to the American public how absolutely incorrect you are,\u0022 Fauci told Marshall. \u0022Once again, you are completely and unequivocally incorrect.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nFauci has fended off attacks by Paul and other congressional Republicans over the government\u0026#039;s Covid-19 response in previous hearings. Their latest exchange comes amid a massive surge in coronavirus cases driven by the highly infectious Omicron variant.\r\n\r\nAccording to Johns Hopkins University\u0026#039;s Coronavirus Resource Center, nearly 5.5 million people worldwide—including more than 840,000 in the U.S.—have died during the two-year pandemic.