Fauci on petition to make him Sexiest Man Alive: ‘Where were you when I was 30?’

getty: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci addressed a petition to name him People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in an interview Wednesday, quipping “Where were you when I was 30?”

Fauci, one of the most visible faces of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, was asked in a Vanity Fair interview about the petition and whether he ever anticipated such a response in his youth as a student at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.

“Well, no. Absolutely not. But as I often say, when they, when they show this to me at my age, I say, ‘Where were you when I was 30?’” Fauci responded.

The petition, which has garnered more than 15,000 signatures as of Wednesday, says Fauci’s “comforting and intelligent demeanor has helped to lessen our national anxiety. He speaks truth to power, a strength few have at this time. His kind face and manner of speaking bring calm during the storm.”

In the same interview, Fauci also discusses the circumstances under which American institutions and businesses would return to normal and repeats his warnings that even if the virus recedes as summer draws closer, it could see a second wind in the fall.

“I think that you really need to see what happens as we get into the summer and then go into the fall. It is conceivable that we can have a resurgence, a second wave. I would hope that if that happens—and I hope it’s an if, not a when—if that happens, that we would have in place the testing capabilities, the ability to identify, isolate, contact, trace, and have a better feel for the penetrants in the community that we’d be able to respond in a very efficient way,” Fauci told the magazine.

Fauci, who has said that he may never shake hands again due to the pandemic, also addressed whether he thought other social norms will give way in favor of widespread wearing of masks or half-empty bars and restaurants.

“That’s not going to happen,” Fauci said. “What I hope happens is that people do something really simple, and that’s called washing your hands as often as you possibly can and using some sort of alcohol-based Purell, or something like that.”

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