Fauci leaned on the 3D COVID-19 model to help Congress better understand the virus behind the pandemic.

By Meena Thiruvengadam
March 05, 2021
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Dr. Anthony Fauci has yet another gift for the world: He's giving the 3D COVID-19 model he leaned on to help Congress better understand the virus to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

"I think when you reach a certain stage, you have things that are more valuable to the general public than they are to you keeping them," Fauci said in a statement.

The model was made at the National Institutes of Health with a 3D printer. It shows the components of the SARS-CoV-2 virion, including the signature spike protein that paves the way for the virus to enter human cells.

"I wanted to pick something that was really meaningful to me and important because I used it so often," Fauci told The New York Times in an interview.

Dr. Anthony Fauci with his coronavirus model
Credit: Courtesy of NMAH

The model will join the Smithsonian's medicine and science collection. Museum curators have been working on an exhibit that examines 200 years of medicine in the U.S. and chronicles the country's experience during the coronavirus pandemic.

The exhibit is set to include items related to Fauci's work on the fight against AIDS, his ceremonial opening pitch at the Washington Nationals baseball park, and an image of a New Yorker wearing a Fauci T-Shirt.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is collecting stories from people who would like to contribute digital submissions to its collection.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.