The Trump administration has butted heads with the country’s top expert on infectious diseases throughout the coronavirus pandemic. But on Thursday when Dr. Anthony Fauci turned 80, a group of first responders showered him with birthday love.
As Fauci left work on Wednesday evening, a group of masked-up emergency workers were waiting outside the building to serenade him. They cheered when they saw him. He stopped in the doorway, seemingly surprised. Then, the quick celebration began, as they sang “Happy Birthday” to him and thanked him for his service during the pandemic.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gave a quick wave of thanks, asked them if he could get a quick picture, ran over to the group (looking awfully spry for a man entering his ninth decade of living), and joined the singers for a somewhat socially distanced group photo.
For a 2020 that has been filled with torturous coronavirus moments, this two-minute video is awfully wholesome.
The Redditors who responded seemed awfully appreciative of Fauci as well.
“See him run over for that photo shoot? I’m 40 and I don’t have that much spring in my step!” wrote one.
Another commented, “If someone told me five years ago that I would be moved to tears on Christmas Eve because I watched a video of a bunch of first responders singing Happy Birthday to the weirdly good looking Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases on his 80th birthday, I’d say you’re crazy. But here we are. Happy Birthday, Fauch. We love ya.”
Wrote another: “National treasure.”
That wasn’t the only shock waiting for Fauci on his birthday. As noted by the Guardian, Fauci’s wife, Christine Grady, planned a surprise Zoom party for him. Even though his three grown daughters and other friends and family couldn’t be there in person to celebrate, he still felt the love radiating from all over the United States.
“She is a genius at fooling me,” Fauci told the newspaper. “I mean, it’s very tough to fool me. But she threw surprise birthday parties for my 50th, 60th, and 70th birthdays. By having me at work and then all of a sudden, ‘Come on home. We’ve got to do something. You gotta go out to dinner.’ I walk in the house and there are people who come from all over the country.”
Fauci also got a nice birthday shoutout from President-elect Joe Biden and incoming first lady Jill Biden.
It’s a marked difference from how Fauci was viewed by President Donald Trump and some other Republicans. Trump suggested he might fire Fauci after the election, Trump ally Steve Bannon called for his beheading, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) claimed that Fauci wanted to cancel Christmas. Through it all, Fauci has had to deal with death threats and so much “venom and animosity” that he still needs public security.
Holidays 2020: Expectation vs. reality
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