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Fauci wins $1 million award for ‘defending science’

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Fauci wins $1 million award for 'defending science'

Dr. Anthony Fauci has won a top international prize for his leadership in the coronavirus pandemic.

Fauci, who has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases under the last seven presidents, was awarded the $1 million Dan David Prize for his defense of science and advocacy of COVID-19 vaccinations now being used worldwide.

The private Israeli foundation also touted Fauci’s lifetime of leadership on HIV research and AIDS relief in the Monday announcement.

In a statement, the Dan David Prize credited Fauci with “courageously defending science in the face of uninformed opposition during the challenging COVID crisis.”

“As the COVID-19 pandemic unraveled, [Fauci] leveraged his considerable communication skills to address people gripped by fear and anxiety and worked relentlessly to inform individuals in the United States and elsewhere about the public health measures essential for containing the pandemic’s spread,” the awards committee said, according to NPR.

“In addition, he has been widely praised for his courage in speaking truth to power in a highly charged political environment.”

Fauci, 80, has recently acknowledged that it was difficult at times to work in the Trump administration, saying he took “no pleasure” in having to contradict the president, with whom he often clashed.

The Dan David Prize rewards breakthrough achievements in research, higher education and the sciences and the humanities.

It awards three annual prizes for past, present and future contributions to the field. Fauci was honored for his present work.

Foundation director Ariel David, son of the prize founder, said Fauci and other laureates “have probed how humanity has dealt with sickness and pandemics throughout history; they have provided relief, guidance and leadership in dealing with current outbreaks … and they are at the forefront of discovering new treatments that give us hope for the future in the ongoing battle against cancer and other diseases.”

The prizes will be awarded in a virtual ceremony on May 9, according to the Times of Israel.

With Post wires

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Florida snorkeler finds $1.5 million worth of cocaine

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Florida snorkeler finds $1.5 million worth of cocaine

A snorkeler off the Florida Keys found 25 bricks of cocaine on Wednesday, authorities said.

The drugs were contained inside a floating bale and were valued at over $1.5 million, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

The snorkeler alerted authorities to the find.

The snorkeler “noticed a large black bundle wrapped in tape & contacted local authorities,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Thomas Martin wrote on Twitter.

Border Patrol agents responded and retrieved the drugs.

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Texas power operators overcharged companies $16 billion

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Texas power operators overcharged companies $16 billion

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas made a massive error that resulted in $16 billion in overcharges last month when millions of residents were left without power after a historic winter storm, according to a watchdog that oversees the power grid operator.

ERCOT set the maximum price of electricity at $9,000 per megawatt-hour, which caused the massive overcharges from 12 a.m. Feb. 18 to 9 a.m. Feb. 19., Bloomberg reported, citing Texas’ independent market monitor Potomac Economics.

The firm sent a letter to regulators recommending the pricing be corrected and that the $16 billion overcharge should be reversed.

The error also led several electric companies such as EDF Renewable Energy and Just Energy to ask the Public Utility Commission to reset the pricing, and others have asked regulators to waive their payments until the issue was resolved.

“If we don’t act to stabilize things, a worst-case scenario is that people will go under,” Carrie Bivens, a vice president at Potomac Economics, told Bloomberg. “It creates a cascading effect.”

More than 4.5 million customers were left without power during the storm, which claimed the lives of dozens of Texans amid record freezing temperatures.

Four ERCOT board members resigned after coming under fire for not living in the state and for their handling of the power outages.

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Tales of Cuomo’s toxic work environment go back to AG days

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Tales of Cuomo's toxic work environment go back to AG days

Gov. Cuomo created a toxic work environment that dates back at least to his time as state attorney general — and includes rages that can last for days, former aides and associates said Thursday.

Cuomo once chewed out an aide so harshly that “he made her cry,” a source familiar with the incident recalled. “Young people work for him thinking they will rise up with him. Older people are stuck because they need a job and benefits.’’ 

Back when he was AG from 2007 through 2010, Cuomo viciously teed off on a veteran State Police investigator in his 60s who accidentally mispronounced his name as “Como,” according to a source familiar with that incident. 

“What’s my name?” Cuomo thundered in front of a group of people. “How do you pronounce it? Spell it!”

In addition to berating the cop, Cuomo transferred him out of his security detail.

During his 2018 gubernatorial re-election campaign, an insider recalled, Cuomo apparently became “livid” just because his Republican challenger, Marc Molinaro, suddenly appeared at the Manhattan’s Columbus Day Parade and shook his hand.

A Cuomo spokesman said the governor “had a great time at the parade.”

“‎Many of us have been here for years and others have left and come back,“ senior adviser Rich Azzopardi said in a statement. “This job isn’t for everyone but we work hard every day to deliver for New Yorkers, and from a $15 minimum wage, to the strongest gun safety laws in the nation to free public college tuition we’ve cut through the red tape and delivered for New York.”

Meanwhile, the recent allegation by Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) that Cuomo threatened to “destroy” him isn’t the first time the governor has engaged in that sort of intimidation, according to a source who formerly worked with him.

About five years ago, the source said, he heard Cuomo bellowing into a phone, “I will destroy you!”

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