Fauci meets with President Trump in the Oval Office on April 29. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is among 27 federal employees nominated for recognition of their work through Samuel J. Heyman Service to America medals.

Why it matters: "If this pandemic has taught us anything, and I hope it's taught us a lot, but if it's taught us anything, it's that government matters. The federal government matters. Expertise matters. Service matters. Experience matters," CNN's Anderson Cooper said in a live Axios Event on Thursday, before introducing the finalists.

Details: Fauci is among six finalists for a career achievement award. He has garnered bipartisan credibility for his straightforward approach to the coronavirus crisis and for giving Americans reality checks on the administration's response to the pandemic.

What's next: The winner for the People's Choice Award is determined by the public, which can cast votes here. Winners of other medals awarded by a selection committee will be announced in the fall.

Go deeper... Watch: 2020 Service to America Medal Finalists

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to state that there are six finalists for the career achievement award, not three.

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