Former Covid czar Dr Anthony Fauci came to the rescue of a woman who collapsed during a glamorous black tie dinner in Washington DC on Saturday night, according to witnesses.
Chandler Dean, a speechwriter, said the former White House chief medical adviser was the nearest doctor available when someone fell down and struck their head during a reception at the Gridiron Club.
“Last night at the Gridiron Dinner in DC, maybe 10 feet from me and [colleague] Sarah Gruen, a woman collapsed, hit her head on a table, and was laying on the floor without moving,” said Mr Dean on Twitter on Sunday.
“People [were] gather trying to help, but no one is sure what to do. Someone goes to find a doctor. They found one.” Mr Dean attached a photo showing Mr Fauci in formal wear, apparently in the act of rising from or returning to his chair.
Ms Gruen corroborated Mr Fauci’s intervention, as did Politico’s daily diary column ‘Playbook’, which said the woman had fainted elsewhere in the hotel and was not a guest.
“Thankfully, she was okay,” said fellow speechwriter Eric Schnure. “And the good doctor posed for a photo with her, documenting one of the best ‘only in Washington; stories of all time!”
The Gridiron Club is a 138-year-old journalists’ association whose annual dinner is among the most prestigious events in the Beltway calendar, usually featuring speeches from the serving president and other politicians.
This year, former vice president Mike Pence seized the Saturday night headlines by tearing into his old boss Donald Trump, saying history would hold him accountable over the storming of the Capitol in January 2021.
Mr Fauci stepped down from his government positions on 31 December last year, ending a historic 38-year span as the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Having counselled every US president since Ronald Reagan and led the federal government’s response to the AIDS crisis, he rose to new prominence during the Covid-19 pandemic as an unflappable scientific adviser and spokesperson to both Mr Trump and Joe Biden.