The Dan David Prize Twitter account wrote: “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”
“As the Covid-19 pandemic unraveled, [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.
“In addition, he has been widely praised for his courage in speaking truth to power in a highly charged political environment.”
Anthony Fauci has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.
He helped to found George W. Bush’s US government AIDS initiative in Africa and now serves as explainer-in-chief to the public amid the Covid-19 outbreak of the Trump and now Biden eras.
The Dan David Prize was established in 2000 by the late international businessman Dan David. It gives $1 million awards in three categories each year for contributions addressing the past, present and future.
Dr. Scott Atlas, President Donald Trump’s controversial special adviser on the coronavirus, has resigned.
Thanking President Trump for the honor of serving the American people, Dr. Atlas said he had “always relied on the latest science and evidence without any political consideration or influence”.
During his four months in the role, Dr. Atlas questioned the need for masks and other measures to control the pandemic.
He also repeatedly clashed with other members of the coronavirus task force.
Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist and senior fellow at Stanford University’s conservative Hoover Institution, joined the task force in August. As well as questioning the usefulness of masks he was against lockdowns and supported herd immunity as a strategy to deal with the outbreak.
He sparked further controversy last month when he tweeted “people rise up” in response to new restrictions imposed in Michigan.
Dr. Atlas’ tweet came just weeks after it emerged Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was the subject of an alleged kidnapping attempt by militia members opposed to virus mitigation efforts.
Public health officials – including top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci – had accused Dr. Atlas of giving President Trump misleading information about the spread of the virus.
As of November 29, the number of Covid-19 cases recorded in November in the US surpassed four million, double the figure recorded in October.
Academics at Stanford University welcomed Dr. Atlas’ resignation, saying it was “long overdue and underscores the triumph of science and truth over falsehoods and misinformation”.
Fox News said Dr. Atlas had joined the administration on a 130-day contract, which was set to expire this week.
In his resignation letter, carried by Fox, Dr. Atlas said his advice had “always focused on minimizing all the harms from both the pandemic and the structural policies themselves, especially to the working class and poor”.
He also spoke of the “free exchange of ideas that lead to scientific truths”, adding: “Indeed, I cannot think of a time where safeguarding science and the scientific debate is more urgent.”
President-elect Joe Biden has taken a markedly different stance to his predecessor, urging everyone to wear masks and pledging a bedrock of science to his policy on tackling the pandemic.
Dr. Fauci was also criticized by Peter Navarro, President Trump’s top trade adviser, in an opinion piece for USA Today in which he said the disease expert had been “wrong about everything I have interacted with him on”.
However, the White House distanced itself from Peter Navarro’s remarks, with communications chief Alyssa Farah tweeting that the article “didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes” and was “the opinion of Peter alone”.
Asked about Peter Navarro’s piece as he departed the White House for Atlanta, President Trump said he should not have written it.
“Well he made a statement representing himself. He shouldn’t be doing that,” the president said.
In his interview with The Atlantic, Dr. Fauci said he was not thinking of resigning over the attacks on him.
“I think the problem is too important for me to get into those kinds of thoughts and discussions. I just want to do my job. I’m really good at it. I think I can contribute. And I’m going to keep doing it,” he said.
Dr. Fauci has also told Reuters that he believes the US will successfully develop a vaccine against the coronavirus by the end of the year.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the US has reported more than 3.4 million cases of coronavirus, and more than 136,000 deaths nationwide.
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