Fauci presents his personal virus model to Smithsonian

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr Anthony Fauci, the face of the United States (US) government’s pandemic response, has donated his personal 3D model of the COVID-19 virus to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

The museum on Tuesday honoured Fauci with its Great Americans Medal. “Dr Fauci has helped save millions of lives and advanced the treatment and our understanding of infectious and immunologic diseases across more than five decades of public service,” said the museum’s Director Anthea M Hartig.

“His humanitarianism and dedication truly exemplify what it means to be a Great American.” The museum asked Fauci to contribute a personal artefact to mark the pandemic, and he chose the lumpy blue and orange ball that he used to explain the complexities of the virus in dozens of interviews.

The model was made with a 3D printer and shows what the Smithsonian’s announcement calls “the various components of the SARS-CoV-2 virion (the complete, infectious form of the virus), including the spike protein.” Fauci showed off his new medal in a video call on Tuesday night, calling it “an extraordinary and humbling” honour.