(CNN)For the past year, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s sidekick has been a blue and pink-spiked model of the Covid-19 virus.
And now, he’s making sure the educational tool has a long life post-pandemic. Fauci has donated the 3D model to the national medicine and science collections at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, the museum wrote in a news release.The donation came as Fauci was awarded the museum’s Great Americans medal for his work during the pandemic and on other diseases, including HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.”Dr. Fauci has helped save millions of lives and advanced the treatment and our understanding of infectious and immunologic diseases across more than five decades of public service,” said Anthea Hartig, the Elizabeth MacMillan director at the museum. “His humanitarianism and dedication truly exemplify what it means to be a Great American.”Read MoreCovid-19 models share a common trait Fauci’s model was made with a 3D printer and portrays components of the complete, infectious form of the virus, including the spike protein responsible for the virus’ ability to latch onto cells and cause infection.The spike protein gives Covid-19 its signature spore-like look — recognizable both in Fauci’s blue-and-pink model, and the widely used, slightly menacing red illustration.Meet the illustrators who gave the coronavirus its faceFauci has used his model over the past 13 months in briefings to members of Congress, the press and the public, the museum wrote.Fauci isn’t new to the SmithsonianFauci’s model will live in the national medicine and science collections at the Smithsonian — but it’s not his first appearance in the museum.The Smithsonian houses other Fauci memorabilia, such as a photo of a man sporting a “Fauci” T-shirt and a 1995 oral history featuring interviews related to the AIDS crisis.Smithsonian curators are currently collecting items related to the pandemic for a future exhibition, “In Sickness and In Health,” which will memorialize 200 years of medicine in the US.The museum said it will seek additional items related to Fauci’s public health work.