US COVID-19 scientist Fauci wins $1 million Israeli prize for 'defending science'

US COVID-19 scientist Fauci wins $1 million Israeli prize for 'defending science'
America's leading coronavirus scientist has won an Israeli prize for science.
2 min read
17 February, 2021
Fauci welcomed a new Biden administration [Getty]

White House Chief Medical advisor on COVID-19 Dr. Anthony Fauci has won the $1 million Dan David Prize for "defending science" and advocating for vaccines now being administered worldwide to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The Israel-based Dan David Foundation on Monday named President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser as the winner of one of three prizes.

It said he had earned the recognition over a lifetime of leadership on HIV research and AIDS relief, as well as his advocacy for the vaccines against COVID-19.

In its statement, the private foundation did not mention former President Donald Trump, who undermined Fauci’s follow-the-science approach to the pandemic. But it credited Fauci with "courageously defending science in the face of uninformed opposition during the challenging COVID crisis."

In his first White House briefing as President Joe Biden's top advisor on COVID-19 last month, Anthony Fauci said it was "liberating" that he could focus on science without fear of repercussion now that Donald Trump had left office.

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Asked to compare his experience under the previous administration to the new one, the 80-year-old responded a little coyly at first, saying he wasn't sure he could "extrapolate" based on first impressions.

"But one of the things that was very clear as recently as about 15 minutes ago, when I was with the president, is that one of the things that we're going to do is to be completely transparent, open and honest.

"If things go wrong, not point fingers but to correct them and to make everything we do be based on science and evidence."

Fauci's honest takes on America's failures to get to grips with its epidemic brought him into conflict with Trump, who repeatedly declared premature victory over the virus, equivocated on mask use and lockdowns, and pushed unfounded miracle cures.

Trump eventually banished the respected scientist from the White House and took to attacking him on Twitter.

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