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SNL has Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx answer pressing coronavirus questions

"Saturday Night Live" featured Anthony S. Fauci, played by Kate McKinnon, and Deborah Birx, played by Heidi Gardner, in a vaccine-themed cold open on Dec. 12. (Video: The Washington Post)
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Just one day after the nation’s first coronavirus vaccine received approval from the Food and Drug Administration, “Saturday Night Live” wasted no time addressing everyone’s most burning questions about the vaccine’s roll out.

The show’s cold open ripped into current events with public health experts Anthony S. Fauci (played by Kate McKinnon) and Deborah Birx (played by Heidi Gardner) appearing on CNN’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer (played by Beck Bennett).

“Today’s top story is the Pfizer corona vaccine,” introduced Blitzer. “It’s just like the PS5: Everybody wants it, nobody can get it and if you’re rich you already had it a month ago.” The veteran news anchor then introduced his two panel experts as “the American Gothic of the whole coronavirus situation.”

Immediately, Fauci was held up against Birx as the crowd favorite with applause — and even some unmentionables (i.e. bras) thrown his way. McKinnon as Fauci pointed out he would be joining the Biden administration to help continue the fight against the virus next year. Meanwhile, Birx, with her signature silk scarf, was left hanging.

“And I think I’ll be joining as well, right? Remember when Trump said to inject bleach and I did a stanky little face and I almost whispered ‘no.’ Remember?” asked Birx. Yeah, no one did.

Blitzer then peppered the pair with the questions the rest of the country has been pondering.

Who will get the vaccine in the United States first?

“First health care workers — your McSteamys, your McDreamys, what have you,” Fauci said. Then the “super seniors” or “Anyone who pays for Red Lobster with a Diners Club card.”

“Then after the elderly, we’ll move onto prisoners, then teachers, then sick people, then everyone else,” Birx said.

“And that will be July 20 bada bada bada,” mumbled Fauci.

What do you make of the overall federal vaccine plan?

“I try not to comment but this president has done about as good a job with this roll out as I did throwing out that first pitch at the Nationals game,” Fauci said.

How will you keep the doses cold?

“Luckily,” said Birx, “the vaccine comes in Coors Light cold-activated cans. So, if the mountains are blue, you know the vaccine is effective.”

How will providers track patients to make sure they return for the second dose?

“We’re using a technique long employed by one-night stands who have caught feelings,” explained Fauci. “We’re gonna have them leave a necklace at the CVS so they have an excuse to come back.”

How will you decide which states get the shipments first?

We’ll distribute to states alphabetically,” said Fauci, “starting with Ah California and Buh New York City.”

Throughout the sketch, Fauci — who, in real life at 79, has become something of a rock star with his evenhanded and fact-based advice during the pandemic — was repeatedly interrupted with bras and even a marriage proposal.

“If enough Americans get this vaccine you’ll all forget who I am. That’s my goal. To have zero name recognition with Americans because that means I’ll have done my job well. I wanna go back to being an anonymous hunk,” Fauci said.

Refusing to be upstaged, Birx chimed in, “And I’m taller.”

The coronavirus was the topic of the hour on SNL, with a later sketch featuring a family of coronaviruses called the Ronas. In it, the night’s first-time host, actor Timothée Chalamet, played a ne’er-do-well son who was ruining the family’s reputation by not living up to his potential as a superspreader.

McKinnon later stepped into a doctor’s role for a second time on the show, making a cameo on “Weekend Update” as recurring character Dr. Wayne Wenowdis to offer up more “expert” opinion on the newly approved vaccine.

“In general,” she said as Wenowdis, “with this pandemic we didn’t do good. It could have been better. But it actually could not have been worse. I don’t know how we do 'dis, but we blow 'dis.”

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