Fauci held Zoom call with Gwyneth Paltrow, Kim Kardashian, Ashton Kutcher, Katy Perry on COVID-19
"I was impressed by the questions they asked," said Dr. Fauci, the country's top infectious disease scientist.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
Call him the Doctor to the Stars.
Dr. Anthony Fauci held a conference call with a slew of celebrities in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to discuss how they should deal with the virus, CNN reported.
Kim Kardashian, wife of rapper Kanye West, was on the call, as were actors Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Orlando Bloom and singers Katy Perry and 2 Chainz, according to Fauci and two others familiar with the call.
It was a whole bunch of movie stars and some sports figures, and they wanted to know about what they could do to stay safe, about wearing masks and avoiding crowds," said Fauci, an immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"I was impressed by the questions they asked, by their level of sophistication," Fauci told CNN about the hour-long call. He said he did the call because the celebrities have "megaphones" and "could get the word out about staying safe."
"Each of them has enormous numbers of followers on their social media accounts," continued Fauci, who served on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. "I could say to them, for example, it's important to wear a mask, and they get on their accounts and say, 'Wear a mask,' and it goes out to an additional couple of million people," an unnamed member of the White House coronavirus task force told the network.
"The Zoom meeting was the brainchild of Kardashian West," according to sources and a person close to the famous family cited by CNN. "That source said Kardashian West took note when Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams made an appeal to her younger sister, Kylie Jenner, in March on 'Good Morning America.'"
"We need to get Kylie Jenner and social media influencers out there, in helping folks understand that look, this is serious, this is absolutely serious," Adams said on the show. "People are dying."
Kardashian drew up a list of celebrities and contacted Fauci's office, the source told CNN. "'She wanted to speak with someone, to ask questions, so she could spread accurate information because there were so many inaccuracies those first few months,' the source told the network."
Fauci, who has been blasted by President Trump, whom he regularly bucked on policy during frequent media appearances, told CNN that Kunis asked him about dining at restaurants.
"I told her I feel badly about restaurants losing business, and I feel it's almost a neighborly obligation to keep neighborhood restaurants afloat, so even though I can cook at home, several nights a week I go out for take-out purely to support those places," Fauci said.
"And then her husband, Ashton Kutcher, said 'That’s it — I'm ordering a pizza — finally!' And then he took out his cell phone and pretended to order a pizza," one of the sources familiar with the call reportedly told CNN.