‘Not the Onion’: US top doctor Fauci lands glossy fashion magazine cover as Covid-19 rages on
Fauci landed a digital cover of InStyle magazine, along with a lengthy, if somewhat self-congratulatory, interview. “With all due modesty, I think I’m pretty effective,” the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, as US Covid infection numbers continue to break records.
Presented as a casual conversation about the pandemic, the interview also veered into topics like Fauci’s love of “power walking,” his three children and home life with his wife. He also took the opportunity to assure readers that his relationship with President Donald Trump was “collegial” despite rumors that the pair clashed — particularly after one of Trump's top advisers penned a USA Today op-ed this week claiming the top doctor had been “wrong about everything” during the pandemic.
Many on Twitter were less concerned with the political infighting, however, and more irritated by the lighthearted tone of the piece in the midst of a massive health crisis. One even compared it to a satirical article in The Onion.
The cover photo accompanying the piece grabbed even more attention than the contents of the interview. Fauci is shown chilling out in a relaxed pose beside his home pool, wearing sunglasses and a shirt with rolled-up sleeves.
“Not a great look to be posing poolside during a pandemic and probable [economic] depression,” one person said of the risky optics.
But the Fauci cover is risky in lots of ways — Trump will be enraged because InStyle is exactly the kind of glossy mag he covets. Also not a great look to be posing poolside during a pandemic and probable depression.— Meghan Roberts 🦦 (@MeghanKRoberts) July 16, 2020
Honestly, can anyone even afford to buy the items your publication recommends after Dr. Fauci’s whack advice ruined the economy?— RAM (Richard Armande Mills) (@RAMRANTS) July 16, 2020
Some eagle-eyed netizens also noticed that the cover photo was taken on June 6, when the pandemic in the US was just coming into full swing.
One commenter sarcastically suggested that Fauci should try his luck at modeling since it “can't go any worse” than his current job.
Ridiculous. Dr. Fauci is more concerned about his publicity than finding a vaccine and/or cure for #COVID19 !— Kate - Trump 2020 (@IrishTexan2009) July 16, 2020
Many Trump critics, however, were full of praise and fawned over the doctor’s photo shoot.
“Like a boss,” tweeted fellow medical expert and prolific tweeter on all-things pandemic related, Eric Feigl-Ding. Another commenter even wanted a copy of the cover photo to hang in her office.
Dr. Fauci has been morphing into a full-fledged medical celebrity in recent months, as anti-Trumpers look to him as a hero, while many Trump supporters regard him as a villain of the pandemic.
Fauci fans fell head over heels for his home office decor back in May, with many raving on Twitter about his packed bookshelves. The famous virologist has even been portrayed by Brad Pitt during a Saturday Night Live skit — fulfilling Fauci’s own wishes as to who should be playing him.
If you like this story, share it with a friend!