Dr. Anthony Fauci said the size of anti-vaccination movement in the US is being "underestimated."
The nation's top disease expert said on MSNBC that the trend is "very disturbing."
Fauci also said he's been "villainized" because he advocates for people to get COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday that the anti-vaccination movement in the US is bigger than we realize — and it's allowing disinformation and misinformation to flourish.
"I do believe it has been an underestimation of the numbers of people who are taken in by the misinformation associated with the anti-vaccination movement," the nation's top disease expert told Stephanie Ruhle on MSNBC, calling the movement "very disturbing."
Biden's chief medical advisor said that, although there have "always been" people opposed to vaccination, misinformation and disinformation have gotten in the way of the science.
Fauci said that since he is outspoken in his vaccination advocacy, "for the protection of the individual, of their family and of society," he has been "villainized."
"It doesn't feel good, but it's just a fact of life of where we are in society right now with disinformation and misinformation tends to rule in many respects," he said.
Fauci told Ruhle that the continued attacks have been stressful on his family, but that his work is "too important" to back down from.
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just 63.4% of the total US population is fully vaccinated. Booster shot figures are even worse; only 43% of fully vaccinated Americans over the age of 18 have received a booster shot.
Throughout the pandemic, Fauci has been the target of repeated threats and harassment, Insider previously reported.
Just two weeks ago at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing, Fauci blasted Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for stoking death threats and harassment against him and his family.
"What happens when [Paul] gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue is that it 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," Fauci said.
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