TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — 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.”
“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 foundation’s awards committee said, praising Fauci for “speaking truth to power in a highly charged political environment.”
Fauci, 80, has served seven presidents and has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.
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 reveled 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 $1 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.
The foundation is based at Tel Aviv University, where it provides grants to a number of programs in the humanities and social sciences. The foundation sets aside 10% of the prize money for scholarships.
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 U.S. 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.
VIDEO: Dr. Krishna Tewari on COVID-19, its Permanent Impact on Medicine, Medical Policy and His Network
TAMPA, Fla. (FNN) – In this week’s episode of the FNN Politics & Power Series, Dr. Krishna Tewari, hospitalist and CEO of Inpatient Specialists Group, LLC, spoke with Mellissa about his network of fellow hospitalists, the COVID-19 pandemic and its permanent impact on medical innovation, the impact of Tampa’s growing population on his business, and more.
Catch new episodes of the FNN Politics & Power Series every Thursday at 1pm ET on Facebook (@Florida National News or @FNN News TV) or on YouTube (www.youtube.com/c/floridanationalnews).
Dr. Raul Pino Appointed Orange County Health Director
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Mayor Jerry L. Demings has appointed Dr. Raul Pino as the next Orange County Director of Health Services.
“Dr. Pino is a revered public health expert in Orange County,” said Mayor Demings. “He has an exceptional reputation amongst our citizens, as well as the professional medical community in Central Florida.”
Dr. Pino served as the Chief Health Officer of the Department of Health in Orange County for the past three years. From March 2020, Pino worked side-by-side with Mayor Demings through 166 COVID-19 news conferences.
As the Director of the Health Services Department, Dr. Pino will oversee all strategic, operational and fiscal responsibilities of the department. This includes the oversight of the county’s Corrections Health Services, Drug-Free Office, Orange County Medical Clinic, Animal Services and Mosquito Control Division, as well as any response to unique public health matters affecting county residents.
“Dr. Pino has a rich history in working with our Health Services Department to meet the needs of our community,” said Mayor Demings. “During these most recent years, Dr. Pino’s leadership has been instrumental in the success of our public health initiatives, including our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Dr. Pino’s educational background includes a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Instituto Superior de Ciencicias Medicas de la Universidad de La Habana, Havana, Cuba, as well as a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Prior to coming to the state of Florida in 2019, Dr. Pino served as the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Health from 2015-2019.
“He has proven himself as an asset to our public health efforts and will continue to provide valuable leadership to our community in his new role with Orange County,” added the Mayor.
Dr. Pino’s appointment will be effective April 26, 2022, upon approval by the Board of County Commissioners. His first day as Health Services Director will be May 2, 2022.
Orlando International Airport Ends Mask Mandate
ORLANDO, Fla. – Following a Federal Court decision and updated directives from the Transportation Security Administration, the wearing of facial coverings will no longer be mandated at Orlando International Airport.
The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which runs OIA, released the following statement:
“The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority will continue to remain vigilant in its efforts to promote a safe, secure and sanitized environment for its guests through the enhanced cleaning methods we’ve enacted over the course of the pandemic. However, the signage and messaging throughout the airport campus will be removed to support the current enforcement climate.
“The CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings as a preventative measure against COVID-19. Each individual can proceed to wear a face mask if they feel it is important for their health and the health of their family. We can expect that some of our industry partners may require a mask be worn in our airports and we need to respect that decision as well.”