Washington DC: President Joe Biden will present the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to 17 people, including actor Denzel Washington, gymnast Simone Biles and the late John McCain, the Arizona Republican with whom Biden served in the U.S. Senate.
Khizr Khan, an immigrant from Pakistan is also among the awardees. Khan’s Army officer son was killed in Iraq. Khan gained national prominence, and became a target of Donald Trump’s wrath, after speaking at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Biden will also recognize Sandra Lindsay, the New York City nurse who rolled up her sleeve on live television in December 2020 to receive the first Covid-19 vaccine dose that was pumped into an arm in the United States, the White House announced Friday.
Biden’s honors list, which the White House shared first with The Associated Press, includes both living and deceased honorees from the worlds of Hollywood, sports, politics, the military, academia, and civil rights and social justice advocacy. The Democratic president will present the medals at the White House next week.