Denzel Washington and NY nurse Sandra Lindsay to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Tim Balk, New York Daily News on

Published in Entertainment News

NEW YORK — Washington is honoring Denzel Washington with its top civilian honor.

The actor from Mount Vernon and a New York nurse who kicked off the American vaccination project by receiving the country’s first post-trial shot will each receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House said Friday.

Washington, the inimitable two-time Oscar winner, and Sandra Lindsay, director of critical care nursing at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, will receive their honors next Thursday, according to the White House.

The White House said they are part of a class of 17 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients that also includes sports sensations like Megan Rapinoe and Simone Biles and two honorees, Steve Jobs and John McCain, who will receive their honors posthumously.

“President Biden has long said that America can be defined by one word: possibilities,” the White House said in a statement. “These seventeen Americans demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation – hard work, perseverance, and faith.”

The awards are to be bestowed at the presidential residence. Since President John F. Kennedy’s administration, the White House has handed out the honors to a broad array of distinguished Americans.

Washington, 67, studied at Fordham University in the city before embarking upon one of American cinema’s most celebrated careers.


He is known for performances in films such as “Fences,” “Philadelphia” and “Malcolm X,” and he scored Academy Awards for “Training Day” and “Glory.”

He also won a Tony Award for a stage version of “Fences.”

Lindsay, 53, of Port Washington, rolled up her sleeve to get jabbed on Dec. 14, 2020, becoming the first person in an often shot-resistant country to receive a fully approved COVID-19 vaccine.

“You saw me, I didn’t even flinch,” Lindsay, who was born in Jamaica, told the Daily News last year. “I was ready for the shot. I just wanted to feel like I have some other level of protection.”


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