Biden Gives the Medal of Freedom to Who?

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Friday, President Joe Biden awarded a Medal of Freedom to 19 people, including some Democratic congressional leaders.

The President, while presenting those who received the medal, introduced the group by noting that they were “incredible people” who have continued to have faith in a better tomorrow. Biden had individually referred to each one of the recipients, who included Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), former Vice President Al Gore (D), and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). He noted that the medal ceremony was one of his favorite events at the White House. 

Former President Kennedy had been the one to establish the Medal of Freedom award over six decades ago. 

Biden during the award ceremony specifically thanked Clyburn, whose endorsement had been instrumental in Biden winning the primary in South Carolina in 2020 and becoming the party’s nominee. He noted that without Clyburn he would not be standing there right now and that he was the “best.” 

He also spoke highly about Pelosi who, as he pointed out, had helped defend the U.S. democracy on Jan. 6, 2021, during the Capitol attack. As he argued, she would be remembered as the greatest House of Representatives speaker. 

Apart from politicians, the award was also given to activist Opal Lee, actor Michelle Yeoh, and Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky. Ledecky has won 10 Olympic medals, and Biden stated that he was looking forward to having her back in the White House after she wins more in the Paris Olympics while representing Team USA this summer. 

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