Dr. Anthony Fauci has reportedly been approached to appear on Dancing With the Stars in a future season, but he is not interested. On Wednesday, sources close to the immunologist told The Daily Mail that producers had approached Fauci. While the infectious disease expert was "flattered," he said, he will not be taking part.
Fauci has become a national presence during the coronavirus pandemic, due in part to the daily press conferences he took part in with President Donald Trump. While the pandemic is far from over, some are already looking ahead at what could be next for 79-year-old Fauci, potentially capitalizing on the recognition he now has. Fauci has been the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, and from the sound of it, he does not intend to leave the medical field for the dance floor.
Producers reportedly felt that Fauci has become not only well-known but well-liked as a straightforward voice of reason during this pandemic. Their approach to Fauci was "informal," testing the waters for a possible collaboration. A spokesperson for Fauci explained that he would turn the opportunity down, even if it were made more seriously.
"Dr. Fauci has not received a formal invitation from Dancing with the Stars. Dr. Fauci, while flattered, would respectfully decline," the spokesperson said.
At the same time, a source close to Dancing With the Stars itself said that Fauci would be a perfect addition to the show, particularly if he could be brought on in the next season. They likened the idea to the controversial casting of Sean Spicer in the show's most recent season.
"Dr. Fauci has become a national hero in the last few months, leading the charge for keeping Americans safe at the height of COVID-19," they said. "He became not only one of our most trusted faces on television but also a man viewers looked to as an inspiration. And of course, he could be good for ratings. Like Sean Spicer, he is a lightning rod. So it was a natural step for show executives to reach out to him. Obviously they are aware that he has work responsibilities, but given that the show is likely to be recorded remotely it allows him the opportunity to train and dance in Washington."
"The producers will be sad to hear he's not interested, but they still hold out hope he will change his mind," the insider concluded. Right now, it is not even clear how Dancing With the Stars will film the new season with coronavirus restrictions on filming still firmly in place. Producers are working on that as well, hoping to create a safe environment for everyone involved without losing the momentum the show has.