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By Derrick Scott

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. July 1, 2022: Caribbean immigrant, Dr. Sandra Lindsay, is among one of 17 Americans named by President Joe Biden to presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom next week.

The Jamaican born critical care nurse in New York, was the first American to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials and is a prominent advocate for vaccines and mental health for health care workers.

Dr. Lindsay will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public, or private endeavors, at the White House on July 7, 2022.

In making the announcement, President Biden said that America can be defined by one word: possibilities. “These seventeen Americans demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation – hard work, perseverance, and faith,” he said.  

“They have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities – and across the world – while blazing trails for generations to come,” the President added.

Reacting to the announcement from the White House, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks, who has been invited to the ceremony, congratulated Dr. Lindsay on behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica as a member of the Diaspora who continues to make Jamaica proud.

She pointed out that the Medal of Freedom was a most prestigious award, and being chosen to receive it was an indication of her outstanding contribution to her adopted homeland, and the critical role she played in motivating Americans to take the COVID-19 vaccine in the battle against the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

To be numbered among the other individuals who will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was no mean feat, and is an indication of the high esteem with which she has been held by the Biden-Harris administration, the ambassador added.

Among the other recipients are:

Simone Biles, the most decorated American gymnast in history.

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona State Senate, serving first in Arizona legislature and a survivor of gun violence, who co-founded Giffords, a nonprofit organization dedicated to gun violence prevention.

Fred Gray, one of the first black members of the Alabama State legislature since Reconstruction who represented Rosa Parks, the NAACP, and who Martin Luther King called “the chief counsel for the protest movement.”

Steve Jobs (posthumous), the co-founder, chief executive, and chair of Apple, Inc., CEO of Pixar and a former lead investor at the Walt Disney Company.

John McCain (posthumous), who served the people of Arizona for decades in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and the Republican nominee for president in 2008; and

Denzel Washington – 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.

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