AIDS activists recruit Barbra Streisand for surprise Fauci birthday party on Zoom

AIDS activists recruit Barbra Streisand for surprise Fauci birthday party on Zoom

A group of friends who worked with Anthony FauciAnthony FauciCNN: Every county in Florida, Arkansas rated 'high transmission' for community spread Rising case count reignites debate over COVID-19 restrictions Trump surgeon general: 'Pandemic is spiraling out of control' MORE during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s hosted a surprise Zoom birthday party Thursday for the nation’s top infectious diseases expert.

Treatment Action Group (TAG) co-founder Peter Staley tweeted that he and “a small gang of Tony Fauci's HIV/AIDS comrades managed to surprise him" on his 80th birthday.

Other participants included TAG co-founders Gregg Gonsalves and David Barr, as well as Barr’s husband Sam Avrett. Whitman Walker Clinic co-founder Lawrence Deyton, Fauci’s former colleague, also joined in the surprise party.

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Staley added that Barbra StreisandBarbara (Barbra) Joan StreisandBarbra Streisand: Republicans 'want an authoritarian state' Spielberg donates money from Israel's prestigious Genesis Prize to nonprofits Chloé Zhao becomes second woman to win Golden Globe as best director MORE, who Fauci “goes on and on about,” recorded a personalized message for his birthday and sent signed CDs and an LP to him.

“After thirty minutes, we told him to go home and stay home for his birthday: ‘Take the day OFF!’ God knows he needs and deserves it,” Staley tweeted. “Happy birthday, Tony. Thank you for all you've done for the world this year. Here's to many more.”

Fauci, who has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, was frequently accused of insufficient attention to the AIDS crisis early in the epidemic by gay activists, including the late writer Larry Kramer.

However, he was eventually able to form alliances with members of the community. Years later, Kramer would call Fauci "the only true and great hero" in the government’s response to the epidemic.