Dr. Anthony Fauci received a $1 million prize from an Israeli foundation for his career in public health and “speaking truth to power” during the COVID-19 crisis.
Fauci, who has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, advising seven presidents on domestic and global health issues, was awarded the $1 million Dan David Prize for his defense of science and advocacy of COVID-19 vaccinations now being used worldwide.
In addition, the private Israeli foundation, affiliated with Tel Aviv University noted his contributions to HIV research and AIDS relief in the Monday announcement.
In a statement, the Dan David Prize, credited Fauci with “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 awards committee said, according to NPR.
“In addition, he has been widely praised for his courage in speaking truth to power in a highly charged political environment.”
In recent interviews, Fauci, 80, has acknowledged that it was difficult at times to work in the Trump administration, saying he took “no pleasure” in having to contradict the president, with whom he often clashed.
The Dan David Prize, established in 2000 by the late international businessman Dan David, rewards breakthrough achievements in research, higher education and the sciences and the humanities.
It awards three annual prizes for past, present and future contributions to the field. Fauci won the prize for achievement in the “present,” the foundation said.
Foundation director Ariel David, son of the prize founder, said Fauci and other laureates “have probed how humanity has dealt with sickness 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 battle against cancer and other diseases.”
The prizes will be awarded in a virtual ceremony on May 9, according to the Times of Israel.