"You’ve got to give credit where credit’s due."

By Jelisa Castrodale
Updated May 25, 2020
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Dr. Anthony Fauci has been the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for more than 35 years, and he has had to face off against an unenviable number of global health threats, including SARS, swine flu, ebola, and now coronavirus. In 2008, then-president George W. Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for "[leading] the fight against HIV and AIDS [...] and for his determined and aggressive efforts to help others live longer and healthier lives." And now the 79-year-old immunologist has been given another great honor: his face is being printed on literally thousands of doughnuts.

Drew Angerer / Staff/Getty Images

Earlier this week, Donuts Delite in Rochester, New York, started selling cake doughnuts topped with an edible portrait of Fauci, surrounded by a thick layer of buttercream frosting and topped with red, white, and blue sprinkles. “We’re watching the news like everyone else,” Nick Semeraro, the Donuts Delite franchisee, told the Democrat & Chronicle. "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.”

Salvatore Fantauzzo, the CEO of the Salvatore's Old Fashioned Pizzeria chain (which also operates Donuts Delite) echoed Semeraro's sentiments. "[Fauci] is calm, knowledgeable and he’s comforting during a time when our country needs it," he said. "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.”

Although photos of the shop's tasty-looking tribute have been shared throughout the United States—and it's been fielding countless requests for nationwide shipments of the Dr. Fauci doughnuts—they're currently only available in Monroe County, New York. The shop says that they're available for takeout or curbside pickup, and it is offering "touchless delivery" throughout the greater Rochester area. ("I would gladly eat the good doctor’s face any day of the week," one satisfied customer wrote on the Donuts Delight Facebook page.)

Semararo told CNN that the shop originally hoped that it might sell several hundred of what has to be the world's first edible tribute to Fauci, but thousands of them have already flown out of the shop. "We had no idea it was going to blow up this big," he said. "We didn't know everyone else felt the same way we did."