He’s a doughnut, he’s a bobblehead, he could be the “Sexiest Man Alive.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci has become an unlikely celebrity and hero during the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to his daily non-nonsense briefings and decades-long career fighting infectious diseases. And his rise to fame has tongues wagging in more ways than one.
An online petition making the rounds is calling for the public health expert, 79, to be named People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” a title that has been awarded to famous studs such as David Beckham, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Idris Elba.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has also been immortalized in the form of a bobblehead toy and delicious pastries. On Thursday, The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a Dr. Fauci model, with part of the proceeds to go towards the American Hospital Association to support the 100 Million Masks Challenge.
Fans are really eating up Dr. Fauci, too. A Rochester, NY bakery put the infectious disease expert’s face on doughnuts last week and they’ve been selling like hotcakes both in the store and online.
The face of the coronavirus crisis and the White House’s COVID-19 Task Force has even been placed on T-shirts, candles and plenty of other fan art.
The fandom has led to hundreds to sign a Change.org petition to have Dr. Fauci given People’s Sexiest Man Alive title for 2020.
“His comforting and intelligent demeanor has helped to lessen our national anxiety,” the petition reads. “He speaks truth to power, a strength few have at this time. His kind face and manner of speaking bring calm during the storm. For sapiophiles and many others, he is the definitive Sexiest Man Alive in 2020.”
With nearly 500 signatures and counting, People’s Editor-in-Chief Dan Wakeford has even seen the petition.
“April Fool’s prank or not, Dr. Anthony Fauci is indeed the latest unexpected ‘star’ to emerge from the COVID-19 task force daily press briefings,” Wakeford said in a statement to Women’s Wear Daily. “He has helped bring back ‘must-see TV’ to the masses, who are hungry for wisdom about how to best care for their family’s health and safety in this time of uncertainty. Smart is sexy, no doubt.”
Wakeford tells the fashion trade that he is the one responsible for choosing the recipient and even divulged details of how the person is chosen each November.
“The prestige of being on the cover of People means you’re still the most talked about person in America,” he says.
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