The Southwest Region of ADL will present its 2021 Milton S. Popkin Award to Professor Peter Hotez, MD Ph.D. during its January 19, 2022, virtual board meeting at 11 a.m.
The Award was established by the family of the late Milton S. Popkin to honor his memory and his service to ADL. Popkin chaired ADL’s Southwest Regional Board from 1969-70 and served as an ADL National Commissioner. The owner of a successful outdoor advertising company, he often used his billboards to promote causes in which he believed, including those connected with ADL.
The award recipient is chosen by former board chairs, and the award is presented every year to a person, persons, or organization for exceptional leadership in furthering ADL’s mission to promote respect for all.
Dr. Hotez is an internationally recognized physician-scientist in neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development, who over more than three decades has championed the development and access of vaccines and essential medicine for the world’s poorest people. This includes the treatment of more than one billion people annually with essential neglected tropical disease essential medicines, in addition to new vaccines for parasitic infections.
Most recently as Co-Director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital and Professor and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, he and his team (now co-headed by Drs. Hotez and Maria Elena Bottazzi, who is Associate Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and Co-Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development) developed a new, inexpensive COVID-19 vaccine which is licensed to vaccine producers in India, Indonesia and Bangladesh with no patents or strings attached and was just authorized in India for emergency use.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Hotez has championed access to vaccines in the United States and around the globe and has served as an expert locally and nationally in written reports, broadcasts, and on social media. His books, including Vaccines, Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism and Preventing the Next Pandemic: Vaccine Diplomacy in a Time of Antiscience (Johns Hopkins University Press), tell deeply personal stories about his leadership combating anti-science and anti-vaccine movements in America and globally, and his past role as US Science Envoy for vaccine diplomacy in the Middle East and North Africa for the White House and State Department during the time of the ISIS occupations.
Online haters have responded by assaulting Dr. Hotez with antisemitic threats and memes often evoking Nazi imagery. Despite these threats, he continues to stand by his advocacy.
“We applaud Dr. Hotez for his courage in standing up against hate and disinformation,” said ADL Southwest Regional Director Mark B. Toubin. “His dogged determination to make vaccines accessible to all as well as to inform the public on how to combat COVID-19 make Dr. Hotez an ideal recipient of the Milton S. Popkin Award.”
For more information or to set up an interview or coverage, contact Dena Marks at 832-567-8843.