Dr. Anthony Fauci donated his personal 3-D model of the coronavirus to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, which awarded him the Great Americans Medal.
“DR. Fauci has helped save millions of lives and advance the treatment and understanding of infectious and immunological diseases in more than five decades of public service,” said Museum Director Anthea Hartig.
“His humanitarianism and dedication really illustrate what it means to be a great American,” she added.
80-year-old Fauci, who led the nationwide COVID-19 response and is President Joe Biden’s scientific advisor, has been asked by the museum to donate a personal item to mark the pandemic.
He chose the lumpy blue-orange ball that he used to explain the complexity of the virus in countless interviews.
The model, made with a 3D printer, shows what the Smithsonian announcement calls “the various components of the SARS-CoV-2 virion (the full, infectious form of the virus), including the spike protein”.
“This has been a terrible year in many ways,” said Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases. “In decades, people will be talking about the experience we’ve had.”
In 2008, Fauci received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the country, from then President George W. Bush for his decades of work that went back to the earliest days of the AIDS crisis.
Past recipients of the Great Americans Medal include former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and General Colin L. Powell, tennis star Billie Jean King and musician Paul Simon.
With postal wires