Dr. Anthony Fauci has become a stalwart for Americans, providing guidance and information about the historic coronavirus pandemic — and now, the esteemed doctor is gaining a fair share of Internet fame.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has been increasingly in the spotlight since joining the White House’s COVID-19 Task Force in January, with many taking to social media to express their gratitude for Fauci’s insight into the virus and his work combatting its spread.
This admiration, however, has been taken a step further with a new change.org petition calling on People Magazine to name the doctor its Sexiest Man Alive 2020.
“His comforting and intelligent demeanor has helped to lessen our national anxiety,” reads the petition, which was created on March 28. “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.”
The petition, which has nearly 300 signatures, has gotten notice from People Magazine’s own editor in chief, Dan Wakeford, who ultimately decides who receives the title of Sexiest Man Alive.
“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 provided to WWD. “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.”
In a January interview with WWD, Wakeford shed light on the decision process behind the title, which is revealed each November, stating: “It’s a lot of responsibility to take on. I spend probably far too much time thinking about it. We’re always pitched by celebrities to be the Sexiest Man Alive. The prestige of being on the cover of People means you’re still the most talked about person in America.”
While it’s too soon to tell if Fauci will be given the honor this year, others are celebrating the doctor in equally creative ways.
A new fashion label named Social Distancing Hat is leveraging the doctor’s newfound popularity by releasing a hat that reads “Faucci,” written to resemble the Gucci logo. The product’s description reads, “Fauci, but make it fashion.”
The hat sells for $32 with all proceeds going to Meals on Wheels.