A West Virginia man who threatened to kill Anthony Fauci for his work as chief medical advisor to the US President during the Covid-19 pandemic has been sentenced to more than three years in prison, the Justice Department said.

The Department said on Friday that Thomas Patrick Connally Jr, 57, will serve 37 months in a federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release for encrypted emails sent to the country's infectious disease expert and head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reports dpa news agency.

Connally confessed in a plea agreement that he was responsible for sending unsolicited emails to Fauci for a nearly seven-month period that ended in late July 2021.

Anthony Fauci
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on COVID-19: Update on Progress Toward Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School in Washington, D.C., the United States, on June 30, 2020. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government's top infectious-diseases expert, warned Tuesday that COVID-19 cases in the United States could go up to 100,000 per day if the current trend "does not turn aroundIANS

One of those messages said that along with his family, Fauci, 81, would be "dragged into the street, beaten to death, and set on fire".

In April 2021, Connally send more than a half-dozen late-night messages to the nation's top immunologist.

"Threats like these will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," said Erek Barron, US attorney for the District of Maryland.

Fauci was said to have been one of several health officials menaced by Connally.

white house. Reuters

The threats came at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, when lockdowns were widely in effect.

Fauci had become a pariah to many conspiracy theorists who faulted the Brooklyn native for relaying information that didn't jibe with their alternative views.

"What you're seeing as attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science," he told MSNBC in June 2021.