The Finalists For Time's Person Of The Year May Surprise You

Every year, Time magazine presents its annual Person of the Year issue, which profiles the person or group of people that has been the most influential for that year. The magazine's picks can be controversial, such as Mark Zuckerberg in 2010, Vladimir Putin in 2007, and Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979.

This year, a few candidates made the shortlist, including Donald Trump, Dr. Anthony Fauci, healthcare workers, and the movement for racial justice. Shortly after announcing the finalists, Time named 2020's joint Person of the Year: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. This marks the first time the magazine has named a vice president or vice president-elect as Person of the Year. Biden and Harris worked together for a historic victory in the 2020 presidential election. Biden pulled in the most votes in U.S. history, while Harris is the first woman, first Black woman, and first person of South Asian descent to become the U.S. vice president.

"Person of the Year is not just about the year that was but about where we're headed, and the next four years are going to be an enormous test of them and all of us to see whether they can bring about the unity they've promised," said Edward Felsenthal, Time CEO and editor-in-chief, per Variety. But what about those other finalists?

Donald Trump doesn't like being runner-up

Time's Person of the Year 2020 winning team came from a field of 80 nominees, which the magazine pared down to just four finalists. Donald Trump, who was Time's Person of the Year in 2016, was a finalist again this year even though he lost re-election to Joe Biden. The editors considered him because he maintained control of the Republican party and captured the most-ever votes by a losing candidate in a presidential election.

In 2019, Trump "lost" Person of the Year to climate change activist Greta Thunberg and did not take it very well. Trump took to Twitter to bash then-16-year-old Thunberg, tweeting, "So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!" 

At a February 2020 campaign rally, Trump brought up his "loss" to Thurnberg once again. He told the crowd, per The Independent, "This year I got beaten out by Greta — you know Greta?" he stated, which prompted boos from the rally-goers. "Last year I got beaten out — I've won it, but when the world revolves around all of us, we should be chosen," he continued, twirling his finger in a circle on stage. "I mean, we've won it. But we should win it every single year." 

Godspeed to the person who had to give Trump the bad news this year. Keep reading to find out more about the other Time Person of the Year short-listers.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and healthcare workers won another special honor

The third finalist for Time's Person of the Year in 2020 was a group of people: frontline health care workers and Dr. Anthony Fauci. Time magazine wrote, "On the front line against COVID-19, the world's health care workers displayed the best of humanity — selflessness, compassion, stamina, courage — while protecting as much of it as they could." 

Time chose Dr. Fauci and frontline healthcare workers as finalists because the coronavirus pandemic was a once-in-a-century story. Fauci and medical workers stood up for science at the expense of their own safety and health. Time said, per Reuters, of frontline health workers, "They risked their lives and in doing so, saved countless other lives." The magazine also highlighted the work that Dr. Fauci has been doing, stating, "One of those frontline workers, who spends part of his day doing rounds at the hospital, is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leader of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the most visible scientific leader in the U.S. in 2020." 

Though they didn't win Person of the Year, Time also gives out other annual honors, including Entertainer of the Year and Athlete of the Year. In this case, Dr. Fauci and healthcare workers won Guardians of the Year.

There was one last finalist that made Time's Person of the Year shortlist. More on that group below.

These racial justice organizers also won an honor

Time magazine's last Person of the Year finalist was another group of people. The magazine highlighted the movement for racial justice that leaped into action following the death of George Floyd, as well as Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade. Floyd's death, in particular, ignited some of the country's largest protests, with vast numbers of people marching for racial equality and justice. "The tragic killing of George Floyd started a movement, not just in America but across the globe," Time reported.

In 2020, racial justice organizers were also named Guardians of the Year, in addition to healthcare workers and Dr. Anthony Fauci. Time wrote, "The movement for racial justice found its voice in multitudes: a mother in Kenosha delivering her frank report to Joe Biden; a sister in Paris calling for police accountability in her brother's death. In this extraordinary year, they guarded truth — lived truth." Activists Porche Bennett-Bey, a local organizer in Kenosha, Wis., and Assa Traoré, an activist in Paris, France, were spotlighted by Time magazine as two notable Guardians. 

While not everyone could win the magazine's coveted title, the finalists for Time's Person of the Year are a true reflection of the United States in 2020.