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TIME Magazine named Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in its list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2020.
Jimmy Kimmel, host and producer of his late-night talk show, wrote the profile of Fauci.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread to the U.S., there was one person millions of Americans immediately knew we could turn to for guidance: Dr. Anthony Fauci,” Kimmel wrote.
Fauci has advised six presidents during his 36-year tenure at the National Institutes of Health. At the beginning of the pandemic, he was appointed to the White House Coronavirus Task Force and has been a leading voice on safety guidelines to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, as well as details about therapeutics and vaccines.
“Dr. Fauci doesn’t sugarcoat his words and refuses to be pressured by politicians,” Kimmel wrote. “He delivers the truth, as difficult as it may be to hear, earnestly and with one goal: to save lives.”
The list of 100 breaks into five categories, with Fauci included in the “leaders” category alongside President Donald Trump, presidential candidate Joe Biden and vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris.
In the “pioneers” category, TIME included other public health experts who have been influential during the pandemic. Lauren Gardner, an engineering professor at Johns Hopkins University, is featured on the list for developing the free COVID-19 Dashboard that government agencies, news organizations and the public have used throughout 2020 to track up-to-date numbers about coronavirus cases and deaths.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Gardner and her graduate student Ensheng Dong couldn’t find reliable data about the coronavirus and decided to develop their own dashboard. They completed it in one day, according to the profile written by Leana Wen, an emergency room doctor in Baltimore and visiting professor at George Washington University.
The dashboard went online on Jan. 22, and by early March, the site received more than one billion views per day.
“In the face of an existential threat, Lauren took action. She didn’t wait for others — she stepped up first,” Wen wrote. “She democratized data and filled a void of public-health leadership. Lives will be saved because of her proactive work.”
Another “pioneer” is Camilla Rothe, MD, an infectious disease specialist in Munich, who led the research that proved people could be infected with the coronavirus and not show symptoms.
“Her published report of symptomless spreading was first met with disbelief, denial and disparagement, but ultimately was confirmed in dozens of patient cohorts to be absolutely true and now is widely accepted,” Eric Topol, MD, professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research and editor in chief .of Medscape, wrote. “Her discovery saved countless lives, and if only we had all listened to Dr Rothe earlier, more spread could have been prevented.”
TIME, “The 100 Most Influential People of 2020.”
TIME, “The 100 Most Influential People of 2020: Anthony Fauci.”
Johns Hopkins University, “COVID-19 Dashboard.”
TIME, “The 100 Most Influential People of 2020: Lauren Gardner.”