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A bare-chested celebrity doctor took to Instagram to give himself the COVID-19 vaccine before inoculating his shoe-designer husband who wasn’t eligible to receive it.
Jake Deutsch, a CNN talking head and the founder and medical director of Cure Urgent Care clinics in Manhattan, gave both himself and Brian Atwood the second dose of the Moderna vaccine last week in their luxurious Hudson Yards apartment, according to their gushing social-media posts.
Atwood, whose red-carpet stilettos have been worn by Lady Gaga, Anne Hathaway and Reese Witherspoon, posted an Instagram video last week of his shot with the tagline: “Getting my second dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine!!!”
Only essential workers, such as police, doctors and teachers, and those over 65 years of age are currently eligible to receive vaccines in New York State. New Yorkers who have underlying conditions, such as cancer and chronic kidney disease, will be eligible for the vaccine beginning Monday.
“FYI: I am lucky they have additional leftover doses at the end of the day!!!” wrote Atwood, a former model, on his Instagram story.
But a warning on Deutsch’s own Cure Urgent Care website says, “We are not currently offering the COVID vaccine to the general public.” The message was up the same week the couple received their second shots.
Urgent-care facilities across the state received vaccines “in prior weeks” — but only for health care workers, according to a state Health Department spokeswoman.
“Does anyone else especially a health care professional find this video unprofessional!” tweeted jahanzaibanwa next to the video of Deutsch giving himself the shot, which had received more than 20,000 views last week. “You have been really inspirational, but not today.”
Another user asked, “Why do people listen to these vacuous celebrities?”
In the month-long waiting period between the two doses, Atwood, 53, and Deutsch, 47, went on a ski holiday in Wyoming, according to an Instagram post. “They had no business going there in between vaccines,” said a source close to the couple. “They went to someone’s birthday.
“Why is he giving his husband the vaccine when people are dying and lining up for it?”
Deutsch, who is regularly featured on CNN, C-SPAN and on Dr. Oz as an expert on the coronavirus, has been in hot water before over his COVID-19 practices.
He faced backlash when he gave influencer Arielle Charnas a COVID-19 test at the beginning of the pandemic last year after she tagged him on social media. At the time, such tests were scarce and limited to people who were considered high risk. Charnas, who has 1.3 million Instagram followers, was filmed by her husband getting the test in her car outside Deutsch’s Upper West Side clinic. She claimed she tested positive.
Last March, on the eve of lockdown, the couple celebrated Deutsch’s 47th birthday at their apartment. Guests at the soiree included socialite Pippa Cohen and DJ Donna D’Cruz, the source said. Shortly after the party Deutsch and Atwood both came down with COVID-19 symptoms.
“I cannot express how scary it was to be so sick and being a patient in the Mt. Sinai ER,” wrote Deutsch in a March 26 Instagram post. “Pray pray pray for humanity and a cure.”
Deutsch went on to write that “Brian had minor symptoms. I however was really ill and developed pneumonia. … This illness is scary since there is no predicting the course and who will suffer severe disease.”
Deutsch and Atwood did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
The State Health Department said Friday they plan to investigate Deutsch. “We take all reports of noncompliance with the guidelines seriously and will investigate this complaint and take appropriate action if warranted,” said a spokeswoman.
In December, Gov. Cuomo said that “providers who knowingly administer the vaccine to individuals outside the state’s priorization protocols” could face the revocation of all state licenses and up to $1 million in penalties.
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