Dr. Fauci Says Santa Can't Catch COVID, And Neither Can the Mensch on a Bench

Santa Claus is immune to COVID-19, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, and will deliver presents as normal this Christmas. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told USA Today on Friday that the jolly old elf won't be at risk of catching or spreading the virus.

"Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity," said Fauci, who has been a leading figure on the White House Coronavirus task force.

"Santa is not going to be spreading any infections to anybody," he said ahead of Claus' visits to millions homes across the world on Christmas Eve.

Fauci noted that Santa Claus has also been taking COVID-19 seriously by limiting his public appearances, where children usually line up and sit on his lap, and practicing social distancing. He has also been seen wearing a face mask per CDC guidelines.

Newsweek has confirmed that Moshe, the Mensch on a Bench who helps Jewish families to celebrate Hanukkah, is also immune from COVID-19.

Neal Hoffman, creator of Mensch on a Bench, said in an exclusive interview with Newsweek that he and Moshe are "thrilled" that their friend Santa Claus is not susceptible to the virus. Hoffman explained that Moshe is not at risk either.

"We are pleased to say that this immunity appears to extend to many members of the 'magical variety,'" Hoffman said. "Mensch on a Bench is also immune to COVID, but because he is such a Mensch (good person) he is not publicizing it, rather he is encouraging Jewish families to be cautions this holiday season and find new ways to celebrate."

"Hundreds of thousands of Mensches are about to emerge for the Hanukkah season and people need the joy this year more than ever," Hoffman said. "Moshe is looking forward to some Zoom dreidel competitions, learning how to cook Latkes over Facetime with his Bubbe and writing cards to all the friends that may be lonely this year.

"We also encourage families to make Moshe a role model and show him using a mask. While he does not need it, he wants to be a role model for kids in the community and practice safe habits," he added.

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, falls this year between December 10 and December 18. Mensch on a Bench has become a popular feature in Jewish homes since his debut in 2013.

"Moshe wants to send his love to his friends of all religions and can't wait to light the menorah next year with his friends and family in person," Hoffman said.

Mensch on a Bench Throws a Pitch
"The Mensch on a Bench" throws out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Atlanta Braves taking on the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 25, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. He is immune to COVID-19. Adam Hunger/Getty Images