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When the Ebola crisis hit last year, the government (and the media) turned once again to Anthony Fauci, who has become America’s doctor. Over the past 31 years, Fauci, who has made seminal contributions to our understanding of HIV, has headed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and put its nearly $4.5 billion annual budget to good use, helping find ways to better treat and prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. He has pioneered the development of therapies that extend the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS and pushed for a vaccine to prevent the infection—work that has earned him 38 honorary doctoral degrees from universities around the world, the National Medal of Science, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Editor’s note: Anthony Fauci ranks No. 5 on the 2020 World’s Greatest Leaders: Heroes of the pandemic edition of the list.