Anthony Fauci Has Become A 'Heartthrob' To Some Americans Amid Coronavirus Crisis, 'The Atlantic' Writer Says

Dr. Anthony Fauci has become a "heartthrob" amid the daily coronavirus briefings where he regularly appears alongside President Donald Trump, according to one writer at The Atlantic.

Kaitlyn Tiffany reported that the doctor's looks seem to be a daily discussion on Twitter. Some users have even gone so far as to unearth old yearbook photographs of the 79-year-old physician and immunologist who has directed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

But the obsession with his looks isn't limited to just Twitter. There is currently a petition being circulated that wants People to name Dr. Fauci its next "Sexiest Man Alive," which has already gained thousands of signatures. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert even shared a tweet that featured a Photoshopped version of the doctor with ripped abs under his suit and tie, while noting that America is falling in love with physician.

Dr. Fauci -- who reported that, even during his long working days, he still takes the time to remain physically fit -- rose to prominence in the early 1980s during the HIV/AIDS crisis. His handling of that devastating disease helped him stay in the same job throughout the past several decades, regardless of who served as the president of the United States.

Currently, he's a member of President Trump's coronavirus task force. Many people in the country have latched onto his straightforward handling of the disease. Dr. Fauci is one of few who has contradicted the president at times throughout this pandemic.

Sara Alexander, Tiffany Zarrella, and Leann To -- microbiologists who work together in Bethesda, Maryland -- even created a FauciFan account on Twitter, known as the Anthony Fauci Fan Club. The idea arose out of their conversations about Dr. Fauci and it currently boasts over 16,000 followers.

"Fan Club of NIAID's very own Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, MD (Not associated with @nih or Dr. Fauci. This Twitter is purely for entertainment & stanning purposes.)" reads the account description.

The women who started the unofficial fan club believe part of what draws people to the doctor is his Boston accent and his straightforward and calm manner of explaining difficult concepts. A variety of other similar accounts have recently popped up on Twitter, extolling the virtues of the good doctor.

Dr. Fauci isn't the only political figure to gain a following of people crushing on him, though. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who also gives daily updates about his state's battle with COVID-19, has a growing group of admirers as well. People say they appreciate the governor's calming, convincing manner as he relays how New York will emerge from the struggles of being the current epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Indiana University's Kinsey Institute, people often feel like they have crushes on people in charge based on chemical reactions in the brain.

"In times of crisis, people have a fight-or-flight response. That drives up the testosterone in the brain," she said. "Testosterone triggers various brain systems that can trigger sexual arousal. Testosterone also has a positive correlation with dopamine, and dopamine is linked with feelings of romantic love."

For now, though, many people find 79-year-old Dr. Fauci adorable and they appreciate the comfort he offers as the country navigates this unprecedented crisis.