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Doctor Fauci Receives $1 Million In Israeli Prize Money For ‘Speaking Truth To Power’ During Pandemic

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Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is one of the world’s leading infectious disease officials and he has recently been honored for his efforts during the pandemic.

Tel Aviv University affiliate, The Dan David Prize, has honored Dr. Fauci with a prestigious $1 million Israeli prize money.

Six other researchers who also won shared two additional $1 million prizes for their contributions to health and medicine.

Dr. Fauci "is the consummate model of leadership and impact in public health," the awards committee said in a statement.

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Dr. Fauci is in a unique position in that he gets to choose the nature of scholarships that will be given to academic scholarships from the award.

About 10% of the prize money is set aside for this.

How did Dr. Fauci become Dr. Fauci?

Dr. Fauci has advised seven presidents of the United States on domestic and global health issues since 1984, which is when he became director of NIAID.

He really made a name for himself when he launched the  President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief during President George W. Bush’s administration in 2003.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) credits the plan with saving millions of lives around the world in developing countries.

His rise to "fame" came around this time last year when Dr. Fauci appeared on a consistent basis in the presidential briefings for the coronavirus at the White House.

He was an important figure for the public on preventive briefing for Covid-19. Former President Donald Trump, who downplayed the pandemic, even threatened to fire Dr. Fauci after the presidential election in which he lost.

This earned him respect among many people in the states and gave him the respect he deserved.

People have now been taking to social media to congratulate him on his prestigious award.

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What is The Dan David Prize and why does it matter?

Established by the late Italian Israeli philanthropist Dan David, The Dan David Prize gives three $1 million awards every year to honor contributions to the knowledge of the past, contributions to society in the present, and advances for the future.

Dr. Fauci was among six other laureates.

The other laureates include Zelig Eshhar of Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science, Carl June of the University of Pennsylvania, and Steven Rosenberg of the NIH National Cancer Institute who are sharing a $1 million prize for pioneering anti-cancer immunotherapy.

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 prize for studying the history of health and medicine.

The three awards this year focused on health and medicine.

The awards committee spoke highly of Dr. Fauci and his work for public health.

"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.

"In addition, he has been widely praised for his courage in speaking truth to power in a highly charged political environment."

The official Twitter account for the award also tweeted in honoring the doctor.

“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,” the tweet said.

Among a world leader and millions of experts, Dr. Fauci remained strong.

In a time where the President of the United States was downplaying a deadly infectious disease and a time where experts were told they weren’t good enough to be advising others, Dr. Fauci became a force to be reckoned with against Covid-19. 

Textbooks will remember him for his heroic actions and his leadership role in a time of adversity and struggle. 

The scientist courageously defended science and indirectly saved millions of lives around the world with his words of wisdom and advice for all things Covid-19. People were urged to wear masks and many did because Dr. Fauci told them to.

The world hopes to not have to face another pandemic anytime soon, but if we had to, it’s good to know we have Dr. Fauci on our side.

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Tomás Diniz Santos is a writer living in Orlando, Florida. He covers news, entertainment, and pop-culture topics.