Denzel Washington Misses Medal of Freedom Ceremony with Joe Biden

attends The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. 26592_016
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for TNT

Legendary actor Denzel Washington did not attend President Joe Biden’s medal of freedom ceremony on Thursday after he was chosen by the president to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Biden revealed the news during the Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House, as it was obvious that Washington was absent.

“He’s couldn’t be with us here today,” Biden said, claiming that the Academy Award winning actor wanted to be there.

(Update: According to a White House official speaking to CNN, Washington tested positive for the coronavirus).

The star of many popular action and drama films, Washington has won two Academy Awards and two Golden Globes and serves as the spokesman for The Boys and Girls Club.

“I’ll be giving him this award at a later date when he’s able to get here,” Biden explained during the ceremony.

The president also awarded a Medal of Freedom to Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and several political allies.

U.S. President Joe Biden presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Simone Biles, Olympic gold medal gymnast and mental health advocate, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House July 7, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

He awarded a medal to Sister Simone Campbell, a prominent activist who helped Biden promote Obamacare, Khizr Khan, who helped lead the charge against President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, and a posthumous medal to Richard Trumka, a former union boss who supported Biden.

Biden also awarded a medal to soccer player Megan Rapinoe, a vocal critic of Trump who helped promote Biden during the 2020 election.

The president also chose to award two of his former friends in the Senate, including former Sen. Al Simpson and Sen. John McCain (posthumously.)

He also posthumously awarded a medal of freedom to Apple founder Steve Jobs, whose widow Laurene Powell Jobs, a prominent Democrat donor, and philanthropist, accepted on his behalf.

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