A doctor people have turned to for advice during the coronavirus pandemic has been slammed for flouting the rules he has been pushing.
Mikhail Varshavski – better known as “Dr Mike” on YouTube – was captured on social media partying on a boat maskless with bikini-clad women, giving one an up-close neck massage while she wasn’t wearing a mask either.
The woman shared Instagram stories from his 31st birthday party, that he reportedly flew from New York to Miami on November 12 for.
Dr Mike, dubbed the “sexiest doctor alive” by People magazine in 2015, earlier this year said “wearing a mask decreases the spread of this virus and that is of utmost importance for people’s health and the health of our economy”.
“So please, if you’re going outside in public and are going to be around other people, wear a mask,” he told Fox Business.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s silk, cotton or surgical grade. The purpose of the mask is to limit the respiratory droplets that you put out into the environment.
“By wearing a mask, you are essentially limiting the spread to the community. So, if you see someone wearing a mask, you should really be thanking them.”
Fans on Dr Mike’s social media accounts – which have amassed more than 10 million followers between YouTube, Instagram and Facebook – lashed out over the hypocrisy.
He has yet to address the controversy on his accounts, despite posting new YouTube videos.
“I just feel like we deserve an explanation,” one person wrote on Reddit, where the original photos went viral.
“A part of me feels like he might be hoping this blows over … There have been claims he is deleting youtube comments which hurts even more.
“I’ve been a Dr Mike fan for so long and as a future healthcare worker, I looked up to him.
“I feel totally lied to. His supporters gave him a platform to spread his covid awareness, I feel like he can at least address this blatant hypocrisy to us.”
The internet personality had recently spoken out about COVID-19, saying, “The one thing that works for everybody: 6 feet away from others, swimming or on land, make sure your face is covered out of the water.”
A representative told Inside Edition that all guidelines related to COVID-19 safety were followed during the boat party and Dr Mike “took off his mask only when getting in and out of the water”.