NEW YORK (WWLP) – No one individual, but the many doctors, nurses, and caregivers who traveled across the world in an effort to stop the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, as well as those healthcare workers dealing with patients who have returned to the U.S., have been selected as Time’s Person of the Year for 2014. The magazine revealed its selection of “The Ebola Fighters” live on NBC’s Today show Wednesday morning.
Those who have been on the frontlines of the Ebola fight were selected over four other contenders: Russian President Vladamir Putin, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, Iraqi Kurd leader Massoud Barzani, and Ferguson protesters.
Christian Lagier of Northampton told 22News that he thinks “The Ebola Fighters were a good choice. “I like opening up to the outside world. The world is sort of becoming smaller and putting some attention on what’s going on with Ebola in other parts of the world could help bring us together. That’s relevant this time of year,” Lagier said.
In selecting the Ebola fighters, Time continues its occasional practice of naming collective groups, rather than individuals, as “Person of the Year.” Some other groups of people given the title were The American Fighting Man in 1950, The Middle Americans in 1969, American Women in 1975, The American Soldier in 2003, “You” in 2006, and The Protester in 2011. Twice the magazine has also selected non-humans, with The Computer being selected as “Machine of the Year” in 1982, and “The Endangered Earth” being chosen as “Planet of the Year” in 1988.
Time’s 2013 selection for Person of the Year was Pope Francis.