Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was awarded Israel’s $1 million Dan David Prize on Monday in recognition of his leadership on HIV research and AIDS relief, his advocacy for the vaccines against coronavirus and for “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 prize committee explained in a statement. “In addition, he has been widely praised for his courage in speaking truth to power in a highly charged political environment.”

The committee commended his efforts to fight for the recognition of novel approaches to treating the coronavirus pandemic, including the development of the world’s first-ever mRNA vaccines, which are now being given to millions of people worldwide – including in Israel. 

In addition, it said that he was receiving the award for his contributions to HIV research and being the architect of the US  President’s  Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, ultimately saving  millions of  lives in the developing  world.

The Dan David Prize, established in 2000 by the late international businessman Dan David is headquartered at Tel Aviv University. It gives $1 million awards in three categories each year for contributions addressing the past, present and future.

Fauci won the prize alongside other health and medical scholars and researchers this year, including health and medicine historians Prof. Alison Bashford, Prof. Katharine Park and Prof. Keith Wailoo in the field of History of Health and Medicine (past category); and the pioneers of an anti-cancer immunotherapy, Prof. Zelig Eshhar, Prof. Carl June, and Dr. Steven Rosenberg in the field of Molecular Medicine (future category).

Fauci won the prize for achievement in the present.