Breaking News
More () »

He was the face of the pandemic, but now, he's the target of harassment at his Houston home

Dr. Peter Hotez has dealt with hate mail and online harassment for some time, but last weekend, he said, someone showed up at his home to taunt him.

HOUSTON — Dr. Peter Hotez was one of the faces of the pandemic in Houston and across the country. Hotez, a vaccine expert, was even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

Hotez works at the Texas Medical Center. He was one of the leading scientists during the COVID-19 pandemic. A few years after those efforts, he said he is being threatened and harassed at his Houston home.

Hotez said he has dealt with hate mail and online harassment for some time, but last weekend, he said, someone showed up at his home, taunted him, and said he should debate an anti-vaxxer.

A video was taken during the incident and posted to social media.

"Peter, it's just a question," the person could be heard saying.

It apparently happened Sunday morning. Hotez is seen in the video walking back inside his home. It has been seen millions of times.

It all started after an interview Joe Rogan did with presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that was posted to social media. They talked about vaccines during that interview and Kennedy Jr. is a prominent anti-vaccine activist.

Hotez said that the interview was spreading misinformation and included a link to an article.

That led to Rogan challenging Hotez to a debate on his podcast with no time limit in exchange for $100,000 donated to a charity of his choice.

Elon Musk chimed in, saying Hotez was afraid that the public debate because he was "wrong."

Mark Cuban chimed in in support of Hotez. He slammed Rogan and Musk for what he claimed was contributing to the worsening climate on mainstream social media.

The call for "public debate" is apparently what led the man to show up at Hotez's house on Father's Day.

Hotez tweeted a picture of himself after the encounter with the caption, in part: "What is it with people?"

KHOU 11 News reached out to Hotez for an interview but he said his schedule was full on Monday.

Hotez has a book coming out later this year. In it, he addresses what he calls "misinformation." The book is called "The Deadly Rise of Anti-Science."

Critics have called out Hotez for his connections with big pharma companies although it was Hotez who helped develop a low-cost COVID vaccine for some of the poorest countries in the world, for which he earned his Nobel Peace Price nomination.

Anayeli Ruiz on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Before You Leave, Check This Out