Joe Biden Awards Medal Of Freedom To 17 Americans; Denzel Washington Misses Ceremony Due To Covid Test Result, White House Official Says

President Joe Biden awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 17 recipients at the White House on Wednesday, including gymnast Simone Biles, former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and soccer champion Megan Rapinoe, as well as posthumous honors to Steve Jobs.

Actor Denzel Washington was set to be among the recipients, but a White House official told the pool reporter that a Covid result was the reason. At the ceremony, Biden said that Washington “couldn’t be here but wanted to be.” The White House has testing guidelines in place for those who will be in close contact to the president.

The nation’s highest civilian honors typically are given annually to a group that includes politicians, activists, artists and scientists.

Others who received the honor included Sister Simone Campbell, college president Julieta Garcia, civil rights attorney Fred Gray, Father Alexander Karloutsos, religious freedom advocate and Gold Star father Khizr Khan, Covid first responder Sandra Lindsay, civil rights legend and organizer Diane Nash, Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe, former vice president Alan Simpson, Brigadier General Wilma Vaught and civil rights advocate Raúl Yzaguirre. Also recognized posthumously were Senator John McCain and AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka.

More to come.

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