You’re America’s top infectious disease expert. You’ve served as an adviser to every president since Ronald Reagan. You’re unquestionably “the star,” to use President Trump’s term, of the U.S. coronavirus task force’s televised daily briefings.
So where do you go from there? Directly onto a doughnut.
Early this week, Rochester, N.Y., shop Donuts Delite began making doughnuts featuring the likeness of renowned immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, whose straightforward, calming presence during the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have soothed a great many Americans.
“We’re watching the news like everyone else,” said Nick Semeraro, franchisee of the café, which also serves the Salvatore’s Old Fashioned Pizzeria menu in Rochester. “He’s on TV giving us the facts; you’ve got to respect that. We’re bipartisan, we stay neutral, but you’ve got to give credit where credit’s due.”
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Added Salvatore “Soccer Sam” Fantauzzo, CEO and founder of Salvatore’s: “He is calm, knowledgeable and he’s comforting during a time when our country needs it. He is inspiring to listen to. He is one of America’s heroes during this challenging time. Plus, he is a Paisano! We wanted to honor a great Italian-American who is on the front lines in fighting this pandemic.”
In addition, the shop wants to bring “light to a humbling experience,” Semeraro said, and some cheer to customers, “even if it’s just while you’re wolfing down that doughnut.”
Decorating the specialty treats involves printing an image of 79-year-old Fauci on wafer-thin edible paper and placing the paper on top of a thick layer of buttercream frosting. Fauci’s image is then encircled with piped frosting decorated with red, white and blue sprinkles.
So far, “people are buying them like crazy,” Semeraro said. The shop has sold hundreds of the doughnuts since Monday, and “We’re making more right now,” he said just after dawn on Thursday.
The doughnuts cost $2.10 each; $11 for a half-dozen; $20 for a dozen (plus tax). They are available for takeout, curbside pickup or delivery, including “touchless delivery.” anywhere in Monroe County. People are encouraged place their orders in advance by calling the café — open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily — at (585) 288-5555.