Dr. Anthony Fauci has been awarded the $1 million Dan David Prize for “defending science” and advocating for vaccine administration to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The annual Israeli award, associated with Tel Aviv University, was given to Fauci — the United States’ director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — on Monday. Six other researchers shared two additional $1 million prizes for their contributions towards health and medicine.
In a statement, the Dan David Foundation praised Fauci, 80, for “courageously defending science in the face of uninformed opposition during the challenging COVID crisis.”
“As the COVID-19 pandemic unraveled, [Fauci] leveraged his considerable communication skills to address people gripped by fear and anxiety and worked relentlessly to inform individuals in the United States and elsewhere about the public health measures essential for containing the pandemic’s spread,” the foundation said, applauding Fauci for “speaking truth to power in a highly charged political environment.”
Congratulations to Dr. Anthony Fauci, global leader in research and control of infectious diseases and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases @NIAIDNews and Public Health hero, for being awarded the 2021 @DanDavidPrize in Public Health @TelAvivUni pic.twitter.com/iDvWHiNSZ5
— Dan David Prize (@DanDavidPrize) February 15, 2021
The foundation made no mention of former president Donald Trump, who sparred with Fauci and downplayed the severity of the coronavirus pandemic since its onset last year.
Fauci has served under seven presidents as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. Some of his previous work includes helping develop treatment for HIV and launching the Pesident’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief under the George W. Bush administration in 2003.
Appearing as one of PEOPLE’s People of the Year last year, Fauci said that it was difficult when he suddenly found himself at the center of handling the COVID-19 pandemic — which he described as one of “the most difficult and devastating infectious disease and respiratory outbreaks that we’ve experienced in the last 102 years.”
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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Eric Todisco