NIAID Director Anthony Fauci awarded USD 1 million prize in Israel for 'defending science', advocating vaccines

The Dan David Prize gives USD 1 million awards in three categories each year for contributions addressing the past, present and future.

The New York Times February 16, 2021 13:07:20 IST
NIAID Director Anthony Fauci awarded USD 1 million prize in Israel for 'defending science', advocating vaccines

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr Anthony Fauci testifies before a House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Trump administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic on 23 June 2020. AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the veteran director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the public face of the battle against the pandemic in the United States, was the recipient of a $1 million Dan David Prize, an award headquartered at Tel Aviv University and dedicated this year to outstanding contributions in public health.

The prize awards a total of $3 million a year to individuals and organizations for their achievements in three categories: expanding on knowledge of the past, enriching society in the present and promising to improve the future of the world. The theme of the prize varies from year to year. Previous laureates include cellist Yo-Yo Ma, former Vice President Al Gore, novelist Margaret Atwood and Dr. Demis Hassabis, an artificial intelligence researcher, neuroscientist and entrepreneur.

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci awarded USD 1 million prize in Israel for defending science advocating vaccines

File image of Dr Anthony Fauci looking on as Donald Trump addresses a gathering. By Samuel Corum © 2020 The New York Times

Fauci, 80, won in the “Present” category for his scientific contributions, including his research and his efforts to inform the public about the pandemic. He “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 organizers of the Dan David Prize said in a statement.

It added, “He has been widely praised for his courage in speaking truth to power in a highly charged environment,” a reference to Fauci’s testy relations with former President Donald Trump and his supporters, who came to treat him as a villain.

The other Dan David Prize awards were shared this year by health and medicine historians Dr. Alison Bashford, Dr. Katharine Park and Dr. Keith A. Wailoo in the Past category; and Dr. Zelig Eshhar, Dr. Carl June and Dr. Steven Rosenberg, pioneers of an anti-cancer immunotherapy, in the Future category.

Isabel Kershner. c.2021 The New York Times Company

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