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Texas State Rep. James Talarico — a Democrat — could hardly contain his excitement after receiving a Dr. Fauci action figure for Christmas. “I got the coolest action figure for Christmas!” Talarico exclaimed in a tweet. “Thank you to all the health care superheroes working today. Let’s help by getting vaxxed and boosted!”

Talarico describes himself as a “proud progressive” and is a former middle school teacher. Policy priorities for Talarico include increased minimum wage for teachers and marijuana legalization, according to his website. He has also blamed “racist” gerrymandering for being been drawn out of his suburban Austin district and has praised the George Floyd riots. “The national protests we have seen in response to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement are nothing short of a long-needed reckoning for our country,” reads Talarico’s website.

Though Talarico was ecstatic over his new toy, Dr. Fauci himself urged people to keep Christmas gatherings to a minimum and told people to “stay away” from unvaccinated Americans at gatherings. “There are many of these parties that have 30 to 40 to 50 people in which you do not know the vaccination status of individuals,” Fauci said days before Christmas. “To the extent possible, we urge you to stay away from those situations that could put you at a higher risk.”

Dr. Fauci had cautioned against Christmas gatherings long before the emergence of the Omicron variant as well. In October, Fauci said it was “too soon” to determine whether it would be deemed safe to attend Christmas gatherings.

Last Christmas, Fauci pushed an unsubstantiated claim that he personally travelled to the North Pole and vaccinated Santa Claus against COVID-19. “I took a trip up there to the North Pole. I went there and I vaccinated Santa Claus myself. I measured his level of immunity and he is good to go. He can come down the chimney,” Fauci said last December.

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