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Paul Pelosi attends the Kennedy Center Honors in his first public appearance since the attack

Paul Pelosi attends the Kennedy Center Honors in his first public appearance since the attack



CNN

Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, made his first public appearance Sunday at the Kennedy Center Honors after being brutally attacked in late October.

President Joe Biden punched Paul Pelosi, who was sitting nearby, as he walked to his seat with First Lady Jill Biden. Paul Pelosi wore a black hat as he recovered from head injuries.

He was attacked with a hammer at the couple’s home in San Francisco by an assailant, who was looking for the Speaker of the House, according to court documents. After the attack, Paul Pelosi underwent surgery “to repair a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hands,” Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi, said in a statement at the time. .

Earlier Sunday, Biden congratulated the class of the 45th Kennedy Center Honors, welcoming them to the White House ahead of the star-studded event celebrating American arts.

“Tonight we celebrate a truly exceptional group of artists, and it’s no exaggeration, a truly exceptional group of artists – a group of artists who embody the very spirit of ‘we the people’. The winners from the Kennedy Center this year — they’re all an incredible group of people,” Biden said.

The President reviewed all the winners, their achievements and their contributions to the arts. Among those honored were George Clooney, Amy Grant, Gladys Knight, Tania León and the four members of Irish rock band U2.

The recipients, selected for their contributions to American culture by the Executive Committee of its Kennedy Center Board of Trustees, were honored at the Kennedy Center Opera House in front of their peers. The event will air on December 28.

The Bidens’ presence marks the second year that the first family is carrying on the long-standing tradition that was interrupted under the Trump administration.

In 2017, then-President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump declined to attend the Kennedy Center Honors after two of the honorees that year – writer and television producer Norman Lear and dancer Carmen de Lavallade – said they would skip Trump’s reception at the White House, citing political beliefs.

At the time, the White House said Trump’s decision would allow artists “to celebrate without any political distractions.”

Addressing the honorees on Sunday, Biden wrapped his remarks in a message of unity.

“In the midst of the great division, it was President Lincoln’s plea. Which we would do well to remember today at a time when there is too much hate, too much anger, too much division here in America and quite frankly around the world. We must remember today as their song says – we are one, but we are not the same. We get to carry each other,” Biden said, lightly quoting the lyrics from U2, which read, “One life, but we are not the same.

Some of the notable White House attendees included Sacha Baron Cohen, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Sean Penn, Julia Roberts, Amal Clooney, Matt Damon, and former Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police officer Michael Fanone, who was at the U.S. Capitol during the January 6, 2021, uprising. Also in attendance were Vice President Kamala Harris, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, and Secretary to Education Miguel Cardona.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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