The Ebola fighters have been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2014.
Time’s managing editor Nancy Gibbs revealed the winner on NBC’s “Today” Wednesday morning. She had announced the final eight candidates on Monday.
“These men and women did the hard and dangerous work in treating patients and protecting the rest of us,” Gibbs told Matt Lauer. She applauded the fighters for demonstrating an “exceptionally great amount of courage and kindness and bravery.”
The issue has five different covers:
The caregivers featured on the cover include two doctors, a nurse, an ambulance driver and a health care worker.
Other finalists this year included Russian President Vladimir Putin, singer Taylor Swift, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Apple CEO Tim Cook and President of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq Massoud Barzani. The magazine also considered larger news stories, including the protestors in Ferguson, Missouri, following the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
Among the caregivers honored in this year’s issue is Dr. Kent Brantly, the American doctor who contracted Ebola while caring for patients in Liberia. Brantly, who has since recovered from the virus, called into the “Today” show after the news was announced to express his gratitude.
“It’s just a huge honor,” Brantly said, adding that receiving such recognition brings on mixed emotions.
“This is not simply a historic event that we’re looking back on,” he said. “It’s still happening. Ebola fighters are not just people who did something brave and courageous. They are still in the trenches fighting that war as we speak.”
Chosen by the magazine’s editors each year, Time’s Person of the Year is an individual or group of individuals who have had the greatest impact on news that year. Previous winners include Pope Francis and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Time also revealed on Monday that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the winner of the 2014 reader’s poll.