The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has become somewhat of a national celebrity as he's made several appearances on TV to speak to how the new coronavirus is spreading and steps we can all take to help curb the number of cases that are increasing every single day.
He also unintentionally became a meme, which happened after Trump made a comment about the "Deep State Department."
Regardless of what your politics are, there's no denying that President Trump has used a variety of colorful, "Trumpisms" that rival some of George W. Bush's own much-ridiculed sayings.
Fauci, like many government officials, is usually pretty straight-faced, especially during press conferences. But even he couldn't keep a straight face after Trump joked about the "Deep State Department", taunting the civil servants the President believes have a conspiracy against him.
Whether Fauci was laughing at Trump because he thinks the claim is ridiculous, or is in awe that he'd address the conspiracy theory in the middle of an official press briefing is anyone's guess - we wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't a combination of both.
Fauci's been with the NIAID since 1984. The COVID-19 outbreak has put more eyes on the 79-year-old doctor than he's likely had in his 35+ years with the government agency.
Here's the clip that has everyone talking.
It didn't take long for a bunch of folks to dub the maneuver as the "Fauci Facepalm", and the memes started rolling in.
I think it does count, technically.
Try following your own advice, doctor. Geez.
People couldn't get over the face touching.
I mean, that is how many people are giving COVID-19 to themselves, aren't they?
Others thought it was a great joke on behalf of the President.
It was a great joke, with a rock solid delivery - No fault found with Dr. Fauci busting up. Nice job, attempting to hide it. All around winner.— The Panic (@Gunntwitt) March 20, 2020
Some thought it wasn't the best time for a quip, however.
Others just want to make sure he's healthy.
An experienced doctor in this trying time to help combat the outbreak would be nice to have around, you know.
While others were worried that it would get him in trouble.
Ok we all laughed at the President Fauci facepalm but now we gotta stop because we're going to get him in trouble!— Ioana (@ibflorea) March 20, 2020
Whether or not it actually was a facepalm or Fauci laughing at the President's joke, plenty of people thought he was slapping his forehead.
Like a lot of people were worried.
the president is gonna fire dr fauci over memes and then we’re truly fucked.— tech fleece tormund (@the_blueprint) March 20, 2020
Come on guys, we need Fauci on this, stop blowing it up.
Let's talk about something else.
Seriously, talking about COVID-19 can get tiring, and Fauci's reaction can be used to express that sentiment.
Out of proportion?
i get that he's in a rough spot but Meme Hero Fauci seems like... a stretch— Christopher Hooks (@cd_hooks) March 24, 2020
Some think that painting Fauci touching his face as an act of resistance to the point where he's a "meme hero" feels a bit forced.
It looks like the blowback backfired, too.
Fauci was absent from a COVID-19 meeting and many believe he's off the response team for good now.
Seriously, people wanted to know where he was.
Was he really fired? Or was he just not on TV because the whole meme thing became a big story?
It's like he just...faded away.
Here's hoping he's still working on the COVID-19 outbreak.
Some people took their love of Fauci a little too far.
Knitting hats? Well, at least they aren't lighting Saint Fauci veladoras...
Uh oh, we spoke too soon.
Well, ok, that's bad but at least people aren't wearing socks with...
Oh gosh darn it.
These are such specific products. Who's buying these?!
Try not hearing this in Christopher Walken's voice.
You either failed the test or you're lying.
Something something, life imitating art.
Fauci isn't an annoying green alien, though.