Time magazine's Person of the Year are the Ebola Fighters.
Time's editor Nancy Gibbs announced the pick on NBC's "Today" show on Wednesday and revealed multiple versions of the cover — each highlighting a different Ebola fighter. Those featured were Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, Dr. Jerry Brown, nurse aide and survivor Salome Karwah, MSF volunteer health promoter Ella Watson-Stryker, and ambulance team supervisor and survivor Foday Galla.
Gibbs said the magazine selected the Ebola Fighters "because this was the worst outbreak in history and while officials were in denial and very slow to respond these men and women did a hard and dangerous work of treating patients and protecting the rest of us."
Brantly, medical missions adviser for Samaritan's Purse and the first American to contract the virus, said on "Today" that being included was "just a huge honor."
"It’s fitting that we acknowledge that most Ebola fighters and certainly those who paid the highest price for their service are themselves West Africans," he said.
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As the disease continues to ravage West Africa the doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and first responders have been on the front lines working to stop the epidemic from spreading further.
"This is not simply a historic event that we’re looking back on, but its’ still happening right now," Brantly said. "Ebola fighters are not just people who did something brave and courageous, they are still in the trenches fighting that war as we speak."
"Today" viewers shared Time’s opinion, voting for the Ebola caregivers by a large margin via “likes” on "Today's" Facebook page.
Last year Pope Francis was named Time's Person of the Year for shifting the message of the Catholic Church from one of doctrine to that of service, making it the third time a Pope was featured on the list.
[NATL] TIME's Person of the Year
Before announcing the 2014 Person of the Year Gibbs revealed its final eight contenders on Monday. The list included Russian President Vladimir Putin, Taylor Swift, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Ferguson protesters.
The top pick goes to the person or a group who, according to Time editors, has had the biggest impact on the news this year, in a positive or in a negative way.
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Past recipients have included President Barack Obama in 2012 and 2008, Mark Zuckerberg, Mahatma Gandhi, Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, and "You."