Julia Roberts presented Dr Anthony Fauci with amfAR’s Award of Courage for 2021 on Thursday, citing how inspired she and her family had been by the doctor's work with the Covid-19 and HIV viruses over the course of his career.
“Your calm and your reassurance have been something that left an indelible mark on me and my family, and I know so many families like us,” Roberts said during a virtual presentation of amfAR’s fundraiser A Gala for Our Time, which streamed on YouTube on 4 March. “To see you always pound the ship, no matter what the circumstances were. … To me, that’s true courage.
“I know courage means something different to my 13-year-old than it does to me at 53 years old,” she continued. “We are all so beautifully aware of what you have been doing for the entire world, but particularly this country, this last almost-year.”
In his acceptance speech, Fauci thanked the “unsung heroes” in the medical community: “Receiving awards like this is so wonderful and it’s always nice to get recognition,” Fauci said. “Many of the unsung heroes out there, I want to make sure that we tip our hats to them, particularly the healthcare workers who very bravely every day put their lives and their safety on the line to take are of terribly ill people. So we’re all really part of a team. I might be a bit more visible than they are but what they do is equally as important as anything that I do.”
This was not the first time the two high-profile personalities have been linked. Last year, Roberts and Fauci spoke at the “Pass the Mic” online conversations series.
Roberts herself received the Award of Courage from amfAR in 2017.
Also honoured at the gala was Glenn Close, who was presented with the second Award of Courage by longtime friend Bette Midler.
“A lot of times for me, at certain points in my career, I’ve always asked myself, when a question has come up which might need some courage, ‘What is the alternative?’” Close said. “Not to do it.”
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