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CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota stepped into embarrassing territory as she grilled Dr. Anthony Fauci on a “burning question” about actor Brad Pitt.
Camerota pressed the infectious disease expert in a fawning interview Thursday in which she admitted that she may have pushed him “too far” in an awkward series of questions about Pitt, who earned an Emmy nomination for portraying Fauci on “Saturday Night Live.”
Appearing on CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday, Fauci was questioned about the coronavirus pandemic by anchor John Berman who ended by tossing to Camerota, saying “my co-anchor has some important questions for you.”
“I have been listening with rapt attention, but I feel like John didn’t get to the really burning question that America has for you,” Camerota said, “and that is: Did you hear that Brad was nominated for an Emmy for playing you?”
“Yes I did,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases laughed.
“What a surreal world we’re living in, Alisyn. I mean I hope he wins. He’s a great actor, I mean he’s one of my favorite actors so I really do hope he wins,” he added.
“Have you spoken to him since he played you?” Camerota asked.
“You know, I have not,” Fauci replied. “I would love to meet him because I’ve been such a great admirer of him and his talent, but I have not spoken to him.”
“I feel like we can make that happen, Dr. Fauci,” Camerota said.
“I feel like we, you know, you and I have the power to have you meet Brad because I sort of feel like anything you and I suggest, he does,” she added, referring to her discussion with the physician back in April when she suggested Pitt play him in a skit on the comedy show that was returning to the air amid the pandemic.
And now, a message from Dr. Anthony Fauci. #SNLAtHome pic.twitter.com/LYemNAWaAT
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) April 26, 2020
“We’ll see. We’ll see. Thanks, Alisyn,” Fauci responded at a point where it seemed the subject should be changed.
But Camerota continued on the topic, sending the segment into a moment of awkwardness.
“Oh, I’m not done with you, Dr. Fauci,” she said.
“Would you like to go up on stage when he wins, would you like to be there to help accept the Emmy Award?” she asked, as Fauci suddenly turned serious.
“Yeah. You know, Allison, the only reason I have hesitancy about that is that we’re in the middle of an outbreak, a bad pandemic, and I think that if that association with that kind of show business thing might be misinterpreted that I’m not serious about what I’m doing,” he said. “So I’d rather focus on my job and really wish him well that he wins.”
“I was afraid there was going to be a point that I pushed you too far,” Camerota admitted.
“And I feel that we have just gotten up to that point. But we really appreciate how playful you have been on the lighter note with all of that, and it was just great, it was just a great moment to watch, obviously, Brad Pitt is a fan of yours and all your information as well,” she gushed.
“Yeah, thanks Alison, appreciate it,” Fauci responded in the never-ending segment as Berman joined the exchange.
“Not handsome enough, Brad Pitt. That’s the one thing I will say. The one inaccurate point there Brad Pitt. Not quite good looking enough,” Berman joked as the segment concluded.
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