(NEXSTAR) – The nation’s top infectious disease expert isn’t used to the entire country taking notice of his birthday. But this is 2020 and while Christmas may be the most anticipated birthday on the calendar, many are celebrating Dr. Anthony Fauci’s December 24th birth as well.

Fauci has been perhaps the most unexpected household name of 2020 as he became the face of scientific efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Politicians, celebrities, and ordinary people have been taking time to thank the octogenarian for his leadership this year, and #DrFauciDay began trending on Twitter well before dawn.

In Washington D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser formally proclaimed the day “Dr. Anthony S. Fauci Day” on Wednesday, calling him a “shining light in dark times for our nation.”

Fauci has served as an advisor to six presidents and as a key member of the Coronavirus Task Force.

President-elect Biden has already said he plans to keep Fauci on as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the next administration.

Fauci was vaccinated against the virus on Tuesday. He has told reporters and friends that he plans to spend a quiet night at home for his birthday.