Denzel Washington has been forced to withdraw from a White House ceremony in which he will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom after contracting Covid-19.
He is an Academy Award-winning actor and director among 17 recipients of the award, which is the highest civilian honor that can be bestowed in the United States.
President Joe Biden presented the medal at Thursday’s event, but said he would give him Washington’s medal “at a later date.”
“There’s a man who couldn’t be here today but wanted to be: Denzel Washington, one of our greatest actors in American history,” Biden said, acknowledging the Hollywood star as the recipient. “Academic Awards, Golden Globes, Tony Awards (and) are widely acclaimed by audiences and friends around the world”.
“He cannot be here with us today, but I will give this award to him at a later date when he can come here.”
A spokesperson for Washington said that despite the positive test result, the actor “feels fine”.
They said: “Denzel tested positive for Covid and so he was unable to attend the Medal of Freedom ceremony.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other important societal endeavors. , public or private.
As well as Washington, other celebrities on the list include two Olympic gold medalists, soccer player Megan Rapinoe and gymnast Simone Biles.
Speaking to Biles, who at 25 is the youngest person ever to receive the honor, Biden said: “She added up her medal count today – I don’t know how you’ll find a place.”
Apple founder Steve Jobs, who passed away in 2011, was awarded the posthumous title.
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https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/denzel-washington-misses-presidential-medal-of-freedom-ceremony-due-to-covid-19-41823779.html Denzel Washington missed the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony due to Covid-19