Actress Julia Roberts will be presenting an “Award of Courage” to the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci, who she calls her “personal hero.”
“You have been a beacon for us, and so, for me it is such a great thrill to represent amfAR in presenting this to you,” said Julia Roberts, who is presenting Fauci with amfAR’s Award of Courage at the organization’s virtual “A Gala for Our Time” event on March 4, according to a report by People. “There’s just no one more deserving, and you’ve been tireless, and true for all of us, and I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
According to People, amfAR [The Foundation for AIDS Research] has temporarily expanded the scope of its work to include research on the coronavirus.
“Thank you so much, Julia, those are such very kind words, I really do appreciate them,” reacted Fauci. “Coming from you, that means an awful lot to me. We see the awards like this are wonderful, and it’s always nice to get recognition.”
Fauci went on to praise the “unsung heroes” who “put their lives and their safety on the line,” and who do not get the same type of recognition that he does.
“Many of the unsung heroes out there, I want to make sure that we tip out hat to them,” said Fauci. “Particularly the health care workers who, very bravely, every day, put their lives and their safety on the line to take care of terribly ill people.”
“So, we’re all really part of the team,” he added. “I might be a bit more visible than they are, but what they do is equally as important as anything that I do. So, thank you very much for those very kind words. I will hold them dear to me for a long time.”
Last May, Roberts referred to Fauci as her “personal hero” ahead of the #PassTheMic campaign — an event in which global health, economic and policy experts, frontline workers, and celebrities join together to discuss their desire to see a global response to the Chinese coronavirus.
“How rad that we have maybe the coolest man on the planet right now. Wow, this is intense,” said the Pretty Woman actress, who visibly gasped and smiled as she saw Fauci arrive on the video call, according to PEOPLE.
“Oh, this is such a thrill,” Roberts added. “This is a thrill for me because there are very few experts of anything in the world and you truly have emerged as a personal hero for me. Just to have this little corner of your time for us is such a joy.”