Morning Mix: Fauci socks, Fauci donuts, Fauci fan art: The coronavirus expert attracts a cult following
Antonia Noori Farzan
“We had no idea it was going to blow up this big,” Semeraro told CNN. “We didn’t know everyone else felt the same way we did.”
While Fauci was already a respected scientist before the outbreak, his appearances during White House press briefings have made him a household name and an unlikely celebrity. With his straightforward demeanor and willingness to contradict President Trump, he’s begun to develop the same kind of cult following as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who inspired countless “Plank like RBG” tank tops and a bizarre illustrated children’s book, respectively.
Even as whole swaths of the global economy are collapsing, the pandemic has created a robust cottage industry of Fauci-themed merchandise, from bottle openers to magnets to mugs. On Etsy, you can buy “Honk for Dr. Fauci” bumper stickers, prayer candles depicting “St. Fauci” and socks printed with Fauci’s face. Graphic T-shirts bear slogans like “I Need a Hero” and “In Dr. Fauci We Trust.”
If so inclined, you can even decorate your home with
In honor of Fauci’s Italian heritage, a clam bar in Long Island, N.Y.
Inbox: "FAUCI LINGUINI: ICONIC CLAM BAR IN PROUD ITALIAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY TO NAME DISH AFTER AMERICA’S HERO DOCTOR"— Jillian Jorgensen (@Jill_Jorgensen) March 30, 2020
An unassuming 79-year-old public servant who has advised six presidents, Fauci has become a “reliable constant in a time of uncertainty,” The Washington Post’s Ellen McCarthy and Ben Terris reported. But his admirers — and there are a lot of them — worry that it’s only a matter of time before he’s sidelined by Trump.
I am— Anthony Fauci Fan Club (@FauciFan) March 24, 2020
☑️ fan club
☑️ 💓Anthony Fauci,
Fauci later explained that he had simply been trying to dislodge a lozenge from his throat. But the much-analyzed “Fauci
But it also undoubtedly helps that his fans tend to take social distancing seriously, and consequently have ample spare time to produce fan art or perform songs written (or modified) in his honor.
On social media, Fauci’s virtual fan clubs peruse old photos of the infectious disease expert in search of “comfy turtleneck vibes,” stitch his face on embroidery hoops and discuss erecting statues as
Fauci has remained characteristically modest about his new status as a cult figure. “Well, that’s very nice,” he responded when McCarthy and Terris mentioned that people all over the country were praying for him. Of course, that means that his fan base has only continued to grow.
“I never met a guy that, worldwide, he is so loved,” Semeraro, the Rochester doughnut shop owner, told CNN. “And a month ago, we never knew his first and last name.”