The Dr. Mike Controversy That Made Fans Furious

Dr. Mike Varshavaski, or Dr. Mike, shot to fame in 2015 after a Buzzfeed article called "Um, You Really Need To See This Hot Doctor And His Dog." The young Russian-born primary care physician, and his undeniably good looks, garnered so much social media attention through his YouTube channel, which featured videos of what life for a medical practitioner is like behind the scenes at both his practice in Chatham, NJ, and while doing rounds in Overlook Hospital nearby, that People named him Sexiest Doctor Alive of 2015.

Unfortunately, photos showed up online just before Thanksgiving that showed Varshavaski, an outspoken advocate for following strict coronavirus protocols, had not only traveled to Miami to celebrate his 31st birthday, but he partied like it was 2019, with nary a mask in sight. Needless to say, fans and followers were not pleased.

A recent scandal could threaten Doctor Mike's popularity

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year, Dr. Mike has been very vocal and seemingly honest with his nearly 6.5 million fans and followers on YouTube. His channel is filled with videos encouraging everyone to follow mask and social distancing protocols, and not engaging in any risky behaviors including gathering with friends and family and traveling.

Imagine the shock when just a month ago, the Daily Mail featured photos of Dr. Varshavski partying maskless in Miami on a boat filled with what The New York Post described as a group of "bikini-clad women" that included massages and absolutely zero social distancing.

Akin to the multitude of celebrity snaps including Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner's lavish birthday parties, and Cardi B's overflowing Thanksgiving get-together, the average American seems to be getting a little tired of the "do as I say, not as I do," pandemic experience of the rich and famous.

Unsurprisingly, fans have started lashing out like Reddit user Irisheyez who lamented, "I know it's your life and you can do what you want, but you have chosen to be a public figure. And because of that, and your profession, you are held to a higher standard." Further adding, "You are supposed to be the example. I admired and respected you. Now that is all lost."

Doctor Mike has recently apologized for his behavior but the internet is still upset

A little over a week ago, Dr. Mike issued an apology for his behavior, not on his main YouTube channel, but on one of his sub-channels called "Doctor Mike Clips," and rather than simply admitting his mistake and apologizing, commenters have pointed out that he presents a defensive apology that comes off as "sorry that I got caught," rather than "sorry for what I did."

The response from the public was harsh. Twitter user @Lindsey_Clark11 summed up what many people were feeling, "Imagine for months preaching to ppl that they need to stay home it's just not safe, but then at the same time flying to a virus hotspot, not quarantining, partying with a bunch of people, then flying back and immediately going back to seeing patients. What gives you the right?"

Meanwhile, comments under his YouTube apology ranged from user Sami Wadud pointing out, "Your own colleagues are dying on the front lines and you behave like this with an apology that is as thin as wet paper," to aly lol stating the obvious, "you wouldn't have posted this if you didn't get caught."

Still, Dr. Mike enjoys a huge social media following and it seems most of his fans are willing to accept his apology and move on.