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Fauci's Mask in the new Smithsonian ‘Entertainment Nation’ Exhibit along with Prince's Guitar, 'Star Wars' Droids
COVID history enshirted with American pop culture icons from Dorothy’s ruby red slippers to Mr. Rogers sweater
The Smithsonian opened its first exhibition dedicated to entertainment history last week with almost entirely pop culture icons — plus one government official who acts like a celebrity.
When I went to the American History Museum to see the new exhibit for my YouTube channel, I was surprised to find Dr. Anthony Fauci’s mask behind glass.
Watch my video below to see how and why Fauci was included as a major part of entertainment history along with “Star Wars”, Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, “All in the Family”, Muhammed Ali and Kermit the Frog.
After you watch, I’ll explain why the mask from the baseball game doesn’t match the one in the museum.
Fauci, chief medical adviser to Pres. Joe Biden and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is in the same museum display as Bill Nye the Science Guy.
The face mask, which Fauci autographed, has the Washington National’s baseball team logo displayed. The mask supposedly is from when Fauci threw out the first ball in the National’s game when baseball started again in July 2020.
I pulled up the video of Fauci from the game and included it in my video here because it may be the worst first pitch in history. The doctor throws it at about ten o’clock from home base.
Oddly, Fauci is wearing a red mask when he throws the ball, but the one in the museum is blue.
UPDATE: I asked the Smithsonian spokespeople about the masks looking different. This is the response:
There were two masks, and he wore one mask to throw out the ball and then signed and donated the unused one to the National Museum of American History.
As Dr. Fauci is an infectious disease specialist, you can understand why the unworn mask was the one selected.
Smithsonian’s spin on Fauci
Here’s what it says on the museum display about why Fauci’s mask is one of the most important entertainment artifacts in American history:
Infectious disease superstar Dr. Anthony Fauci threw the first pitch of major league baseball’s COVID-disrupted 2020 season
As a deadly pandemic ravaged the nation, major sports leagues found themselves at the center of the debate over “reopening” the country.
Amidst a cacophony of misinformation and denial, the advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading epidemiologists rang true: make the decision about resuming play "based on scientific evidence and public health judgment."
When baseball became the first league to retake the field, Fauci threw out the ceremonial opening pitch -- wearing a face mask in a stadium empty of fans.
The museum doesn’t mention that there was no “scientific evidence” that wearing a mask stops the spread of COVID, which Fauci knew.
It doesn’t explain that it was not at all scientific for Fauci to wear a mask while standing on the pitcher’s mound outside with nobody near him.
And the “public health judgment” to not allow professional sports to have spectators was wrong and unnecessary for public health during the pandemic.
Real entertainment icons
The exhibit, “Entertainment Nation,” takes up an entire wing of the museum with artifacts from 150 years of music, sports, TV and movies.
As you see in my video, the exhibit show amazing original artifacts, including R2-D2 and C-3PO from “Star Wars”; Prince’s yellow guitar; Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from “Wizard of Oz”; Mr. Rogers’s red sweater and sneakers; the chairs from “All in the Family”, the original Kermit the Frog puppet; Muhammad Ali's robe; the shield from “Captain America”; the signpost from “Mash”; Mia Hamm’s soccer jersey; Toby Keith’s guitar from “Red, White and Blue”; J.R. Ewing’s cowboy hat from “Dallas” and so much more.
Visit Entertainment Nation
The Smithsonian says the purpose of this new museum display is to “explore how, for over 150 years, entertainment has provided a forum for important national conversations about who we are, and who we want to be.” It says the display will rotate from its collection of 1.8 million objects from entertainment figures, so it will be always new to visitors.
The exhibit is free and easily accessible at the American History Museum on Constitution Avenue between 12th and 14th streets. After going through security and walking into the main hall, turn right (westward) and take the escalators to the third floor. The exhibit is open daily from 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. It takes an hour or less to walk through it and see everything. Read more about it on their website here.
If you’re visiting D.C., I think it’s a really fun exhibit and a nice break from the serious history museums. They just need to rotate out Dr. Fauci to be 100% entertainment.