Mayor London Breed Gives Dr. Anthony Fauci the Key to the City

Mayor lauds international public health leader’s work on COVID-19 and long history of life-saving work fighting HIV/AIDS
October 06, 2023

San Francisco, CA – On Wednesday October 4th, Mayor London N. Breed gave Dr. Anthony Fauci the Key to the City and County of San Francisco. The Mayor cited Dr. Fauci’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and his decades-long work leading the fight against HIV/AIDS when she honored him in the Mayor’s Office in City Hall.    

Dr. Fauci, who led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for nearly four decades, retired from government service in 2022. He oversaw an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, tuberculosis, and malaria as well as emerging diseases such as Ebola, Zika and COVID-19.   

Dr. Fauci advised seven U.S. Presidents on HIV/AIDS and many global leaders on other health issues. He was one of the principal architects of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program that has saved more than 20 million lives throughout the developing world.  

Dr. Fauci’s relationship with San Francisco is deeply rooted in his advocacy and unwavering support for Bay Area residents, particularly during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Before and during this period, he forged collaborative relationships with activists in the City, involving them in the AIDS research process and addressing their concerns, thereby earning their respect and trust. He directed significant resources to the Bay Area and played a pivotal role in raising awareness, disseminating proper knowledge, and influencing regulatory reforms to address the AIDS epidemic.  

“Dr. Fauci’s career has been linked to San Francisco's journey for many years. Long before the world knew him in the context of COVID-19, he was a trusted ally and advocate during the HIV/AIDS epidemic," said Mayor Breed. “He listened when others ignored and acted when many were paralyzed by ignorance and fear. By presenting him with the Key to the City, we celebrate his outstanding contributions that have saved lives, paved the way for scientific breakthroughs, and improved the quality of life of an entire generation.”  

“It is such a wonderful honor for me to receive the key to the City of San Francisco, a city that I love and have enjoyed visiting often over the past 50 years, and where I have so many friends and academic collaborators,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci.   

Dr. Fauci is widely revered for his humanitarian approach to medical science. His compassion and inclusivity have enabled meaningful community engagement and the incorporation of diverse voices in medical research and policy-making. He has maintained a consistent dialogue with communities and activists, emphasizing collaboration and shared goals in medical research and policy formulation.  

San Francisco’s Key to the City is an honor bestowed by the Mayor of San Francisco upon distinguished visitors or valued members of the community. It is the City and County of San Francisco’s highest honor.