Denzel Washington tested positive for COVID-19, and he missed the Presidential Medal of Freedom conferment ceremonies yesterday. Named one among the 17 who President Biden has acknowledged for the highest civilian honor of the United States, Washington was not in attendance that ceremony held at the White House. “Denzel tested positive for COVID and so he was unfortunately unable to attend the Medal of Freedom award ceremony,” Denzel’s representative told the media. Washington is reportedly to be feeling well, and has showed no adverse symptoms of COVID-19. “A man who couldn’t be here today but wanted to be,” President Biden described Denzel during the ceremony. He also confirmed that the actor will be the medal at a later date.
Washington’s honor comes from his notable work as the spokesperson of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). It is a network and institution of many clubs across the United States that educates children across many fields. Sports, arts, health, leadership, finance, STEM, and digital literacy are only some of the listed interests that the BGCA covers. “My father was a Pentecostal preacher who taught me the importance of faith. My mother was a beautician who sacrificed to get me the best education possible. But I also had a local Boys and Girls Club with mentors who cared and gave me the confidence I needed to set higher goals than I might have,” Denzel explains his involvement with the BGCA. The announcement of Denzel Washington’s Medal of Freedom conferment also noted his long career as an actor as a reason for the honor. “Denzel Washington is an actor, director, and producer who has won two Academy Awards, a Tony Award, two Golden Globes, and the 2016 Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award,” the White House announcement stated.