The countless doctors, nurses and caregivers at the forefront of battling one of the worst ever outbreaks of the deadly Ebola virus, were today collectively named as Time magazine’s 2014 ‘Person of the Year’.
The ‘Ebola fighters’ have been awarded for their “tireless acts of courage and mercy” and for “risking, persisting, sacrificing and saving”.
Time’s editors unveiled the winner of the annual honour selecting the Ebola fighters from an initial list of 50 world leaders, business heads and record-breaking artists that was narrowed down to a shortlist of eight this week.
“Ebola is a war, and a warning. The global health system is nowhere close to strong enough to keep us safe from infectious disease, and ‘us’ means everyone, not just those in faraway places where this is one threat among many that claim lives every day.
“The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight. For tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defences, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving, the Ebola fighters are Time’s 2014 Person of the Year,” Editor Nancy Gibbs said explaining the publication’s reasoning behind the choice.
Time had conducted a separate online poll in which it gave a chance to its readers to select who they think should win the title of Person of the Year.
The readers’ poll was won by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had secured more than 16 per cent of the almost five million votes cast.
Modi did not make it to the final shortlist of eight that included founder and CEO of China’s Alibaba Group Jack Ma, Apple CEO Tim Cook, pop star Taylor Swift, Ferguson protesters, Russian President Vladimir Putin, National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell and President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq Masoud Barzani.
The annual honour, that has been bestowed by the magazine since 1927, goes to the person who “most influenced the news” during the year “for better or worse”.