The former head of the US' COVID-19 task force, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has received $1 million (€824,980.50) for his role in 'courageously defending science' from a prominent organisation.
The 80-year-old medical expert was awarded the large lump sum by the Dan David Foundation, a science group based in Israel.
It said in a statement that Dr. Fauci had earned the award thanks to his 'lifetime of leadership on HIV research and AIDS relief', as well as his advocacy for vaccines against COVID-19 during the current pandemic.
The Foundation added: 'As the COVID-19 pandemic unravelled, (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.'
Its awards committee further praised Fauci for 'speaking truth to power in a highly charged political environment.'
Fauci has been open with his tense relationship with former US President Donald Trump, who repeatedly played down the severity of the pandemic and often recommended unproven scientific remedies, such as his controversial endorsement of injecting disinfectant.
Dr. Fauci notably rose to prominence last year, when he repeatedly told the truth about the implications of the virus, despite working with a hostile White House administration that repeatedly downplayed the crisis and would eventually fire him.
However, it seems that Fauci has had the last laugh, as he has been re-hired as the US' chief COVID-19 adviser by US President-elect Joe Biden.
Reflecting on his time working with the Trump Administration, Dr. Fauci claimed that the situation was so bad that he genuinely worried about contracting COVID-19 while at the White House.
The Dan David Prize, which was established in 2000, gives $1 million awards in three different categories each year for contributions addressing the past, present and future.
The award also sets aside 10 per cent of the prize money for academic scholarships in each winner’s field chosen by the laureates.
Previous recipients of the Dan David Prize include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, US Vice President Al Gore and filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski).