Rush Limbaugh Given Presidential Medal Following Cancer Diagnosis

Rush Limbaugh is a polarizing media personality. He was surprised on Feb 4, 2020, when he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Here’s what President Trump had to say, and why the timing of this award was significant.

Rush Limbaugh after First Lady Melania Trump gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump stuns Rush Limbaugh

USA Today reports President Trump discussed Limbaugh during his Feb 4. State of the Union speech. “Almost every American family knows the pain when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness. Here tonight is a special man, someone beloved by millions of Americans, who just received a stage 4 advanced cancer diagnosis. This is not good news, but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet.”

Trump added “In recognition of all that you have done for our nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and that you inspire and all of the incredible work that [you] do for charity, I’m proud to announce tonight that you will receive our nation’s highest civilian honor.” Melania Trump then bestowed Limbaugh with the medal. Limbaugh was shocked.

Rush Limbaugh announces cancer diagnosis

Rush Limbaugh speaking in 2007 | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

This comes shortly after Limbaugh announced his cancer diagnosis. According to Fox News, he said “This day has been one of the most difficult days in recent memory, for me, because I’ve known this moment was coming. I’m sure that you all know by now that I really don’t like talking about myself and I don’t like making things about me… one thing that I know, that has happened over the 31-plus years of this program is that there has been an incredible bond that had developed between all of you and me.”

He continued “So, I have to tell you something today that I wish I didn’t have to tell you. It’s a struggle for me because I had to inform my staff earlier today. I can’t help but feel that I’m letting everybody down…I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.”

He discussed how he is finding comfort at this time. “I told the staff today that I have a deeply personal relationship with God that I do not proselytize about, but I do, and I have been working that relationship tremendously. I am, at the moment, experiencing zero symptoms.”

Rush Limbaugh is compared to other recipients

A Presidential Medal of Freedom on display | Shannon Finney/Getty Images

Some were not so pleased at this development. Fox News reports Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez felt the metal was unearned. “First of all, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is an extraordinarily sacred award.” She felt Limbaugh was not “on the same level as Rosa Parks, for example, in terms of their contributions to American progress.”

Limbaugh is not the first media personality to receive the award. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, and Robert Redford are among the entertainers who’ve received a Presidential Medal of Freedom. USA Today says Limbaugh being awarded the medal during a State of the Union was unprecedented.

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