The US top infectious diseases expert, Anthony Fauci, has been awarded a prestigious $1m (£717,000) Israeli prize for his commitment to science.
Dr Fauci, who was often at odds with former President Trump over how to handle the pandemic, was given the Dan David Prize for “defending science”.
He was also praised for advocating for Covid vaccines, and for his leadership on HIV research and Aids relief.
Dr Fauci, 80, has advised seven US presidents.
He was recognised for “courageously defending science in the face of uninformed opposition during the challenging Covid crisis”, the awards committee said in a statement.
He “is the consummate model of leadership and impact in public health,” it added.
“As the Covid-19 pandemic unravelled, [he] 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.
“In addition, he has been widely praised for his courage in speaking truth to power in a highly charged political environment.”
Dr Fauci has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.
He helped to found George W Bush’s US government Aids initiative in Africa and now serves as explainer-in-chief to the public amid the Covid-19 outbreak of the Trump and now Biden eras.
The Dan David Prize was established in 2000 by the late international businessman Dan David. It gives $1m awards in three categories each year for contributions addressing the past, present and future.