BY ROSA SANCHEZ, EMILY SHAPIRO, IVAN PEREIRA, STEPHANIE EBBS, ABC NEWS

(WASHINGTON) — Dr. Anthony Fauci told The Washington Post that his message for Christmas is to “tone things down,” including gathering outdoors when possible, wearing a mask when not eating or drinking, and keeping gatherings to as few people as possible and within your household.

Fauci is not only celebrating Christmas on Thursday, but also his 80th birthday. And for the first time, Fauci won’t be with his daughters for the big day.

“This is the first time since the birth of my daughters, and they are now in their late 20s and early 30s, that we have not been together on Christmas Eve,” Fauci said. “I’m not alone in this feeling that kind of pain of separation from our loved ones.”

His milestone birthday was marked with a surprise Zoom party organized by his wife.

“I want to practice what I preach. I don’t want to tell the country to do something that I’m not willing to do myself,” Fauci said. “I was just on a Zoom call with the girls … I think I lost about a liter of fluid in tears, to be honest, with hearing their expressions of love and concern to me. But we ended it on a happy note because we know that sooner or later, very likely sooner, as we get into 2021 and things get better and vaccines help us, that this time next year we’ll be back again with the Fauci family celebrating.”

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