Atlanta’s COVID angel earns city’s highest honor

ATLANTA — Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms celebrated the man she has referred to as the City of Atlanta’s COVID angel, Dr. Carlos del Rio on Friday by presenting him with the city’s highest honor.

Bottoms presented Dr. del Rio with the Phoenix Award, the City’s highest honor, in recognition of his steadfast support and medical expertise during the pandemic.  

According to Bottoms, as one of the mayor’s most trusted advisors, Dr. del Rio met this moment of historic proportion with calmness and certainty. From the beginning of the pandemic, del Rio was instrumental in assisting as the administration navigated through the pandemic by following the data, science and del Rio’s advice. 

“As we navigated through the most unprecedented health crisis in our history, I was grateful to have Dr. Carlos del Rio by my side,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “It would have been nearly impossible to overcome this challenging time without his science-based counsel and support.” 

Dr. Carlos del Rio is the Hubert professor and chair of the Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health and professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease at Emory University School of Medicine. He is also principal investigator and co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research and co-PI of the Emory-CDC HIV clinical trials unit.