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Denzel Washington Visits White House

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty

The actor Denzel Washington was notably absent from the White House last week where he was to be honored. It’s now confirmed that he didn’t attend after testing positive for COVID-19.

Last Thursday (July 7th), a group of notable American civilians were at the White House to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This group was comprised of 17 individuals, which included Washington. But he was noticeably absent from the ceremony in the East Room, and it was learned that he had tested positive for COVID-19, preventing him from attending. The man who couldn’t be here today, but wanted to be: Denzel Washington. One of our greatest actors in American history.  Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Tony Awards, wide acclaim and admiration from audiences and peers around the world,” said President Joe Biden. “He couldn’t be here today, but I’ll be giving him this award at a later date when he’s able to get here.”

The other Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients included Olympic gold-medal gymnast Simone Biles, civil rights attorney and pastor Fred Gray, constitutional rights activist Khizr Khan, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team star, and activist Megan Rapinoe, and former congresswoman and gun-safety advocate Gabrielle Giffords. The posthumous honorees included former Senator John McCain, former labor leader Richard Trumpka and former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

In his speech, President Biden spoke about the significance of the honor and “the extraordinary group of Americans” he recognized in the ceremony. “On Monday, we celebrated the independence of our nation, a nation always a work in progress in creation of possibilities, the fulfillment of promises,” Biden said. “That’s the American story. It’s not a simple one. It’s never been a simple one, but the fourth of July week reminds us what brought us together long ago and still binds us, binds us at our best. We strive for — what we strive for, we, the people, doing what we can to ensure the idea of America, a cause of freedom shines like the sun to light up the future of the world. That’s the soul of our nation.”

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