Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top official for infectious diseases, won a coveted $1 million Israeli award on Monday. Fauci won along with six other scholars who earned two other $1 million awards for their health and medical achievements.
The Dan David Award, associated with Tel Aviv University honored Fauci for his career and “speaking truth to power”. The awards committee claimed in a statement that Fauci “is the consummate model of leadership and impact in public health”.
The award sets aside 10% of the prize money for academic scholarships. Fauci will decide the nature of the scholarships.
Fauci was the head of the U.S. National Allergy and Infectious Diseases Institute. Since 1984, the National Institutes of Health had consulted seven leaders on domestic and global health challenges. His HIV studies helped to create drugs to make it easier for carriers of the virus to survive long lives. In 2003, during the George Bush administration, Fauci helped initiate the President’s Emergency Strategy for AIDS. The assistance that the NIH credits with saving millions of lives in the developing world.
Since featuring in televised Presidential briefings on the coronavirus, Fauci became a household name in the United States. He was a reliable public authority on prevention steps against COVID-19. Former President Donald Trump downplayed the Virus and Fauci was barred from featuring on many TV shows. Trump declared Fauci one of a gang of “idiots” and implied that after the presidential election that he lost, he would shoot him.
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“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 awards committee stated.
Set up by the late Italian Israeli philanthropist Dan David, the Dan David Prize annually awards three $1 million grants recognizing contributions to historical awareness, contributions to society in the present, and advancements towards the future.
This year the three awards focused on health and medicine.
– For researching the history of health and medicine, historians Alison Bashford of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Katharine Park of Harvard University, and Keith Wailoo of Princeton University are sharing a $1 million grant.
– Zelig Eshhar of the Weizmann Institute of Science of Israel, Carl June of the University of Pennsylvania, and Steven Rosenberg of the National Cancer Institute of the NIH are sharing a $1 million grant for pioneering immunotherapy against cancer.
Filmmakers Ethan and Joel Cohen, novelist Margaret Atwood, former Vice President Al Gore, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma are among the past laureates.
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