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Fauci wins $US1 million prize for ‘defending science’

In recent interviews, Fauci has acknowledged that it was difficult at times to work for Trump, who repeatedly played down the severity of the pandemic, dismissed the need for mask-wearing and often touted unproven scientific remedies, including injecting disinfectant.

Trump resented Fauci’s flattering press coverage and revelled in calls to “Fire Fauci!” at some of his rallies. But Fauci outlasted Trump, who lost the November election.

“It was very clear that there were things that were said, be it regarding things like hydroxychloroquine and other things, that really was uncomfortable because they were not based in scientific fact,” Fauci said at a recent White House briefing. He added that he took “no pleasure” in having to contradict the president.

Biden’s election, Fauci said, was “liberating”.

The Dan David Prize, established in 2000, gives $US1 million awards in three categories each year for contributions addressing the past, present and future.

Fauci won the prize for achievement in the “present,” in the field of public health, the foundation said.

Professors Alison Bashford, Katharine Park and Keith Wailoo, working in the field of history and health medicine, won the “Past” category. The pioneers of an anti-cancer immunotherapy, professor Zelig Eshhar, Dr Carl June and Dr Steven Rosenberg won the “Future” category.

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Foundation Director Ariel David, son of the prize founder, said this year’s laureates “have probed how humanity has dealt with sickness and pandemics throughout history; they have provided relief, guidance and leadership in dealing with current outbreaks … and they are at the forefront of discovering new treatments that give us hope for the future in the ongoing battle against cancer and other diseases.”

Previous recipients of the Dan David Prize include former US vice-president Al Gore, former British prime minister Tony Blair, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, novelist Margaret Atwood, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales and filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen.

AP

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