Louisville residents, orgs given Muhammad Ali award

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was in Louisville Saturday to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2022 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards at the Ali Center, 144 N Sixth St.

For nearly 40 years, Fauci has been leading America’s fight against infectious diseases, including the COVID-19 virus and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

“The idea of getting an award that is named after someone who is incredibly inspirational to me because of the fundamental principles of the way he lead his life is very important to me,” Fauci told the Courier Journal. “I am in a difficult position right now. On one side, I am admired and on the other, I am being torn down. It gives me strength to have a role model in Muhammad Ali.”

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Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award recipient Dr. Anthony Fauci, right, is interviewed by Courier Journal reporter Kirby Adams on the red carpet at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 5, 2022.

The annual awards ceremony is the Muhammad Ali Center’s largest fundraiser and honors those who have dedicated a portion of their lives to humanitarianism and a host of philanthropic causes.

Fauci is the government’s top infectious disease expert. He will step down from his position in December, ending decades of federal service capped with a pandemic. While accepting his Lifetime Achievement Award, the 81-year-old appealed to the guests to continue to work together to control the spread of the virus.

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