Dr. Fauci celebrates his 80th birthday, capping an eventful year for the infectious disease expert

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the most prominent face of the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, celebrates his 80th birthday Christmas Eve.

To celebrate, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has proclaimed it "Dr. Anthony S. Fauci Day" in the nation’s capital.

The Brooklyn native's distinct voice could be heard in countless interviews and press conferences throughout 2020, including several appearances with celebrities and high-profile athletes in guiding Americans during one of the country’s most challenging years in its history.

His work on the AIDS crisis in the 1980s brought him into the spotlight, but the continuing pandemic cemented Dr. Fauci’s knowledge of infectious disease and ability to communicate crucial information as needed. While he famously found himself in the crosshairs of President Donald Trump, it was a year that saw Dr. Fauci turned into an action figure, throw out an errant first pitch at a Washington Nationals game and become a recurring character on "Saturday Night Live."

Of course, the year hasn't been without its challenges.

Over 320,000 people have died from complications due to COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Business large and small have been decimated by the impact of the virus, hurting the economy with possibly long-lasting effects. Earlier this week, Dr. Fauci received the coronavirus vaccine as part of a large-scale national effort to strengthen confidence in the doses and encourage Americans to get the shot once it's their turn.

The nation’s leading infectious disease expert will continue his work on the pandemic as part of the Biden administration.