A New York physician described as ‘Instagram’s hottest doctor’ has been called out after pictures emerged of him partying maskless with scantily-clad women on a boat in Miami.
Mikhail Varshavski, known as Dr Mike, is a vocal advocate of mask-wearing in public during the coronavirus pandemic.
But it appears he’s not too good at taking his own advice.
Pictures posted to Instagram show the heartthrob doc, who has more than three million followers on Instagram, partying with a group of bikini-clad girls – with not a lot of social distancing going on.
The photographs were taken at his 31st birthday party on November 12 at Sunset Harbour in Miami.
The images have sparked outrage, with many calling Dr Mike a “hypocrite” for saying one thing in public and doing quite the opposite in public.
People Magazine called the 31-year-old Manhattan-based physician “the sexiest doctor alive” in 2015.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, he has appeared on TV on several occasions in the US, encouraging people to wear masks.
“Please, if you’re going outside in public and are going to be around other people, wear a mask,” he told Fox Business in July.
“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.”
However, in the Miami pictures and videos posted to Instagram, Dr Mike can be seen partying with a group of people in front of tubs of champagne.
“You are supposed to be the example,” one person wrote.
“I admired and respected you. Now that is all lost.”
“What frustrates me most is the absolute hypocrisy,” wrote another.
“Even if I assume he was taking every precaution to be safe, he has stated time and time again to ‘just stay home.’
“Now I see one of the doctors I respected not only travelling to a major COVID hot spot, but having a large gathering of people.
“It’s going against everything he has clearly, loudly and passionately spoken about for the past 8 months.”
As his followers took to Instagram and Facebook (where he has 2.9 million followers) to call him out, a representative of Dr Mike’s released a statement to the New York Post saying he had only briefly removed his mask for photographs.
“Dr Varshavski took off his mask only when getting in and out of the water, also per CDC guidelines on wet masks,” the statement reads.
“Dr Varshavski has always been — and is — a proponent of mask-wearing and safety amidst the pandemic.
All federal, state and local CDC guidelines related to COVID-19 travel and safety were followed, including boat capacity, testing, and return to NYS (New York State) protocol.”