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Jimmy Kimmel Praises Dr. Anthony Fauci's Service During Pandemic: He 'Doesn't Sugarcoat His Words'

Jimmy Kimmel is applauding Dr. Anthony Fauci for his commitment to informing the American public amid the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As part of TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2020 package, the late-night host, 52, spoke about the expert's work during the pandemic, highlighting how Fauci, 79, delivered unadulterated facts about the coronavirus as the face of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

"As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread to the U.S., there was one person millions of Americans immediately knew we could turn to for guidance: Dr. Anthony Fauci," wrote Kimmel. "As director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Fauci has advised six presidents over 36 years."

"When COVID-19 reared its ugly head, he was among the first to step forward with facts and only facts," added the comedian.

Kimmel continued to commend Fauci for refusing to "sugarcoat" scientists' updates about the deadly outbreak.

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"Dr. Fauci doesn’t sugarcoat his words and refuses to be pressured by politicians. He delivers the truth, as difficult as it may be to hear, earnestly and with one goal: to save lives," wrote Kimmel. "His courage and candor have earned our trust. We are all fortunate to have a man of his wisdom, experience and integrity to help us navigate these difficult waters."

In a video package for the TIME 100 profile, Fauci opened up about updating citizens about the coronavirus during a highly "politically charged" time leading up to the election.

"The people who disagree, you become the symbol for hate and venom," said Fauci. "On the other hand, the amount of support that I have gotten is unbelievable. The people are craving clarity, honesty, courage to stick up for what's right — and it isn't me, it's what I'm symbolizing."

"We always used to say, 'Pandemics occur; they've always occurred and they will occur,' " he added. "And it would be really shameful if we don't learn from what we've been through, because we've been through a lot in 2020."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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