Elton John on Tuesday appeared during a virtual ceremony on CNN for World AIDS Day, where he offered up his heartfelt thanks to Dr. Anthony Fauci for his efforts and contributions to the medical and scientific community’s ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS. Dr. Fauci was honored with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the US Global Leadership Coalition during the virtual celebration.

While Dr. Anthony Fauci has been a reassuring fixture in news headlines throughout this year as he continues his efforts to educate the public about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Tuesday’s honor focused on his previous work battling the HIV/AIDS crisis.

As CNN notes, “Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, served as the National Institutes of Health‘s AIDS coordinator before becoming the first director of the NIH’s Office of AIDS Research, where he served from 1988 to 1994. … Fauci faced protests and condemnation from activists in organizations like the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, also known as ACT UP, for his handling of the deadly disease as it claimed more than 100,000 lives in the United States. However, he would go on to collaborate with activists on research and drug trial development.”

As Sir Elton noted in a pre-recorded clip aired for Fauci during the broadcast, “What a wonderful and fitting way to mark World AIDS Day, by honoring one of the biggest champions in the history of the AIDS epidemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci. There are very few people on this planet who have dedicated themselves to a lifetime of service to save millions of lives like Dr. Fauci. His unwavering commitment to public health and innovation has transformed the approach to HIV, and it is his leadership and persistence that will ultimately help us to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Elton continued, “I founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation 28 years ago to protect, test, and treat the most vulnerable people affected by HIV, and through my foundation, I’ve had the pleasure of advocating alongside some of the greatest minds, politicians, scientists, and influential leaders … Not many can top the progressive changes made in the USA for people living with HIV [thanks to] Dr. Fauci. This is a man who is responsible for embracing activists and people living with HIV and incorporating their views to change drug trials back in the early days. He expanded research and treatment and saved countless lives. We met years ago at an AIDS conference, and I applaud and admire the continued leadership and devotion to this fight. Together, we will end the AIDS epidemic. So, Dr. Fauci, we thank you. Congratulations on this wonderful honor, and God bless.”

Watch Elton John offer his thanks to Dr. Anthony Fauci on CNN here.

Related: Gorillaz Releases ‘Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez’, Ft. Robert Smith, Elton John, Beck, More [Listen]

This was far from the only public appearance for Elton John on World AIDS Day. He also teamed up with TikTok for a special World AIDS Day campaign aimed at helping the app’s younger demographic learn more about the disease. Watch Elton John speak about the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the ways in which the disease has affected his life below:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Elton John (@eltonjohn)