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Dancing with the Stars wanted Dr. Anthony Fauci as contestant

Public health hero Dr. Anthony Fauci – who has become a central figure in the fight against the coronavirus – has been approached to appear on ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars, can reveal.

Dr. Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S. who has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, has been the reassuring face of the nation’s response to the pandemic.

And as a member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, he often speaks at White House press briefings alongside the president.

Now DWTS, which sees celebrities and public figures strutting their stuff in front of the cameras, has approached the doctor to be a competitor in this fall’s season. understands show producers felt that the father-of-three has become a much loved public figure and would be perfect for the show.

As a result an informal approach was made to the immunologist to test the water.

However, a spokesperson for Fauci, 79, told that while the now famous doctor is ‘flattered’, he won’t be lacing up his dancing shoes anytime soon.

A spokesperson for NIAID, said: ‘Dr. Fauci has not received a formal invitation from Dancing with the Stars. Dr. Fauci, while flattered, would respectfully decline.’

A show source said: ‘Dr F.auci has become a national hero in the last few months, leading the charge for keeping Americans safe at the height of COVID-19. 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.’

ABC and DWTS bosses have stayed tight-lipped about how they will film the new series given coronavirus restrictions.

‘They still have a few weeks to make a decision about how the partners and their contestants will work together in the week and then perform for the live show. They are figuring out the logistics,’ the source said.

‘Currently there are no plans for a live audience attending the opening show at CBS Studios in Los Angeles. It is too dangerous and obviously a no go for the stars, especially with how hard unions are pushing safety for their clients.’

‘Currently with no vaccine, it is likely that the performers will pair together in limited quarantine, and then do their live performances via a video link. That is the safest option considered and allows the show to run in full until the final.

‘Judges too will either remotely present or perhaps attend a socially distanced studio.

‘But ABC are adamant that the show will air despite the problems.’

DWTS has not been afraid to delve into the political arena for contestants.

Last year former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer garnered huge publicity for the series as a contestant.

Other names being targeted for 2020 are Tiger King Joe Exotic’s nemesis Carole Baskin, former Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe, CNN’s Chris Cuomo, rocker Vince Neil and Paris Jackson

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