Dr. Anthony Fauci Awarded NCAC’s Francis Kelsey Award

No Comments

The ASPA National Capital Area Chapter “Frances Kelsey Award” acknowledges individuals who have demonstrated courage in promoting the public interest while employed in government; as a public servant, contractor, or grantee. The award is named in honor of Dr. Francis Kelsey, a 45-year veteran of the Federal Drug Administration {FDA), who served as the Director of the FDA’s Office of Scientific Investigations, and who courageously resisted pressure to approve the pharmaceutical drug Thalidomide for therapeutic use in the United States in the 1960s after discovering a link between the drug and severe birth defects.

At the time of Dr. Kelsey’s review, Thalidomide had been sold to pregnant women in Europe and elsewhere as an anti-nausea drug to treat morning sickness. The pharmaceutical company responsible for its development wanted a license, for similar use, in the United States.

The Washington Post opined that “[the] tragedy was largely averted in the United States, with much credit due to Kelsey … For a critical 19-month period, she fastidiously blocked its approval while drug company officials maligned her as a bureaucratic nitpicker.” The Washington Post went on to describe Dr. Kelsey as a “heroine” whose “skepticism and stubbornness … prevented what could have been an appalling American tragedy.”

There are fewer honors and awards than people who deserve them. They are rare and are reserved for people who have achieved excellence in their field, made significant observable changes or accomplishments, and whose work products have benefited the citizens of the United States, or humanity at-large, in their field or activity.

Dr. Anthony Fauci meets and/or exceeds the criteria required for consideration as a recipient for the “Frances Kelsey Award”. Dr. Fauci has served American public health in various capacities for more than 50 years and has been an advisor to every United States President since Ronald Reagan. Dr. Fauci became Director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 1984 and has made contributions to HIV/AIDS research and other immune-deficiency diseases, both as a scientist and as head of the NIAID.

From 1983 to 2002, Dr. Fauci was one of the World’s most frequently cited scientists across all scientific journals. In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded Dr. Fauci the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, for his work on the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a United States governmental initiative to address the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and help save lives of those suffering from the disease. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Fauci was one of the lead members of President Donald Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force. In the early stages of the pandemic The New Yorker and The New York Times described Dr. Fauci “as one of the most trusted medical figures in the United States”. He made clear the importance of evidence-based decisions and strove to ensure the public was well-aware of the information it needed to inform their actions. Dr. Fauci was recently appointed Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden and continues to serve as the Director of NIAID.

Dr. Fauci shares with Dr. Kelsey a long and distinguished history of public service. Both helped strengthen national health standards protections for citizens of the United States and humanity at-large; are recipients of numerous prestigious awards related to their public service achievements; are recognized nationally and globally as leaders in their respective fields; demonstrated the ability to manage and lead in response to national controversies; and possess a dedication to the duties and responsibilities of public service, as well as a winning temperament.

For the above reasons, the ASPA National Capital Area Chapter is honored to present the 2021 “Frances Kelsey Award” to Dr. Anthony Fauci for his outstanding public service.

Presented by Board Member Arthur Elkins

We were fortunate to have Dr. Fauci send us a video in acceptance of this award.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *