Dr. Fauci receives ‘ultimate honor’ with bobblehead dollby Yaron Steinbuch
Dr. Anthony Fauci is no big head as the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, but he has been bestowed with the “ultimate honor” — getting his own bobblehead doll, according to a report.
Fauci, 79, the ubiquitous head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been a constant presence in living rooms across the nation during the coronavirus pandemic.
The idea to honor him with his own nodder came to Phil Sklar after his National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee closed down in March to prevent the spread of the deadly bug, The Washington Post reported.
Sklar and his partner, Brad Novak, who had churned out bobbleheads of star athletes, found themselves without much to do after professional and college sports suspended their seasons because of the outbreak.
So they turned their attention on Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force who delivered a constant stream of public health updates – sometimes at odds with those from President Trump.
Sklar and Novak soon came across stories about a wide variety of merchandise bearing Fauci’s likeness, including on T-shirts and socks – so they decided to give him “the ultimate honor,” according to the news outlet.
On April Fools’ Day, they announced that the Fauci wobbler would be sold for $25 – with $5 donated from each sale to the Protect the Heroes campaign, which supports the purchase of personal protective equipment for frontline workers.
In no time, Fauci became the duo’s most popular doll — and by mid-August, all 42,020 figures in the first batch had sold out, The Washington Post reported.
Sklar and Novak also got requests for bobbleheads of other officials, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who received praised for his televised coronavirus briefings, and White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx, according to the paper.
Fauci suggested that his doll’s popularity says more about the public’s desire for accurate information about the outbreak than it does about him as an individual, the paper reported.
“As opposed to that being a bobblehead of me, Tony Fauci, it’s really a bobblehead of the symbol of a person who they trust, and who they feel is giving them clarity and important information that they need,” he said.
This month, Sklar and Novak reopened their attraction, though they are limiting capacity and require guests to wear masks and practice social distancing.
“With Dr. Fauci being our number one seller ever, we wanted to follow his guidance,” Sklar said.