Dr. Anthony Fauci wins $ 1 million prize for ‘Defense of Science’

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) – Dr. Anthony Fauci has won the $ 1 million Dan David Award for “Defense of Science” and advocates for vaccines now being administered worldwide to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The Israeli-based Dan David Foundation on Monday named President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser the winner of one of three awards. It said that during a lifetime he had received the recognition of leadership in HIV research and AIDS relief as well as his advocacy for the vaccines against COVID-19.

In its statement, the private foundation did not mention former President Donald Trump, who undermined Fauci’s follow-up to the scientific approach to the pandemic. But it credited Fauci for “bravely defending science in the face of uninformed opposition during the challenging COVID crisis.”

“When the COVID-19 pandemic was resolved, (Fauci) used its significant 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 needed to to limit the spread of the pandemic, the foundation’s award committee said, praising Fauci for “speaking the truth to power in a highly charged political environment.”

Fauci, 80, has served seven presidents and has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

In recent interviews, Fauci has acknowledged that at times it was difficult to work for Trump, who repeatedly downplayed the severity of the pandemic, rejected the need for mask-wearing and often proclaimed untested scientific means, including injection disinfectant.

Trump outraged Fauci’s flattering press coverage and dreaded calls for “Fire Fauci!” at some of his rallies. But Fauci survived Trump, who lost the election in November.

“It was very clear that there were things that were said, whether it was things like hydroxychloroquine and other things that were really unpleasant because they were not based on scientific fact,” Fauci said during a recent briefing in the White House. House. He added that he had “no pleasure” in having to contradict the president.

Bucid’s choice, Fauci said, was “liberating.”

The Dan David Prize, established in 2000, awards $ 1 million each year in three categories for past, present and future contributions.

Fauci won the award for achievement in the “present” in public health, the foundation said.

Professors Alison Bashford, Katharine Park and Keith Wailoo, who work in history and health medicine, won the “Past” category. The pioneers of anticancer immunotherapy, Professor Zelig Eshhar, Dr. Carl June and Dr. Steven Rosenberg, won the category “Future”.

The foundation is based at Tel Aviv University, where it provides grants to a number of programs in the humanities and social sciences. The fund allocates 10% of the prize money to scholarships.

Foundation director Ariel David, son of the award founder, said this year’s laureates “have explored how humanity has dealt with disease and pandemics throughout history; they have provided relief, guidance and leadership in dealing with current outbreaks … and they are at the forefront of discovering new treatments that give us hope for the future in the ongoing fight against cancer and other diseases. ”

Previous recipients of the Dan David Award include former US Vice President Al Gore, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, novelist Margaret Atwood, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales and filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen.

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