Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the US National Institutes of Health – and the public face of Covid-19 policy in the United States — won a 2021 Dan David Prize of $1 million.

The late businessman and philanthropist Dan David established the international prize in 2001 at Tel Aviv University (TAU). Every year, three prizes of $1 million each are awarded to globally inspiring individuals and organizations. Laureates donate 10 percent of the money to scholarships for researchers in their respective fields at TAU.

“The coronavirus pandemic has presented humanity with new challenges,” said Prof. Ariel Porat, president of TAU and chairperson of the Dan David Prize Board.

“Therefore, this year, we decided to honor the fields at the forefront of the battle against the virus — health and medicine. International review committees selected this year’s laureates for their pioneering work and their exceptional contributions to humanity in these fields in three time dimensions: past, present, and future.”

Fauci was chosen as the winner of the “present” category of public health.

“Today, Dr. Fauci is the most influential public health leader in the US and is widely respected throughout the world for his efforts against the coronavirus,” said Porat.

“As NIAID director he has led research efforts on the development of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines for Covid-19. He is the voice of reason for randomized, controlled trials for evaluating antiviral drugs and other therapeutics. These efforts have led to useful therapeutics that have markedly reduced death rates for hospitalized Covid-19 patients.”

Other 2021 laureates to be honored in an online ceremony in May are health and medicine historians Prof. Alison Bashford, Prof. Katharine Park, and Prof. Keith Wailoo (in the “past” category of the history of health and medicine) and anti-cancer immunotherapy pioneers Prof. Zelig Eshhar, Prof. Carl June and Dr. Steven Rosenberg in the “future” category of molecular medicine.

Previous Dan David Prize laureates include cellist Yo-Yo Ma (2006); former US Vice President Al Gore (2008); novelist Margaret Atwood (2010); and filmmakers Ethan and Joel Coen (2011).