Nirav Shah

Shah Bars are displayed at Wilbur’s Chocolate Confections in Freeport on Tuesday. The candy store company named the bar in honor of Dr. Nirav Shah, the state’s Center for Disease Control director. Associated Press/Robert F. Bukaty

FREEPORT — A candy company in Freeport has a sweet spot for the state’s Center for Disease Control director.

Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director, served as inspiration for the “Shah Bar” created by Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections.

The candy bars feature an image of the smiling, bespectacled doctor, along with a big red heart in an outline of the state.

The doctor “has been a big part of not only keeping Maine safe but also to convey a sense of warmth and caring for the people of Maine. He seems to really have a lot of compassion,” Kristin Frazier from Wilbur’s told WCSH-TV.

He’s become the face of the state’s response to the pandemic through daily briefings that were held for weeks. He has been praised for his calm, reassuring demeanor. He has also reminded Mainers to take time to do things that bring them joy, such as eating soup and calling their mothers.

Shah was the head of the Illinois Department of Public Health before coming to Maine. He’d been on the job for less than a year when the coronavirus pandemic struck.

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