Dolly Parton has revealed that both Donald Trump and Joe Biden made moves to award her a Presidential Medal of Freedom, but she rebuffed them both.
The singer, gay icon, philanthropist and queen of vaccine research is one of the most universally beloved figures in the United States, winning adoration for her decade-long efforts promoting children’s literacy as well as her quiet contributions to other philanthropic causes.
Calls to honour the country music singer with the nation’s highest honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, have only intensified after it was revealed last year that her work part-funded the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19.
Last month, former president Barack Obama jokingly acknowledged his failure to honour Parton, quipping: “I think I assumed that she had already gotten one, and that was incorrect… she deserves one, I’ll call Biden.”
Dolly Parton says she doesn’t want to ‘do politics’ by accepting medal
In an interview with Today, Parton revealed she actually has been contacted about the honour under both Biden and his predecessor.
Asked if she had heard from Biden, she said: “I actually have. To be honest, in all fairness, I got offered the freedom award from the Trump administration, and I couldn’t accept it because my husband was ill.
“Then they asked me again about it and I wouldn’t travel because of the COVID. Now I feel like if I take it, I’ll be doing politics, so I’m not sure!
“I don’t work for those awards, it’d be nice, but I’m not sure that I even deserve it. It’s a nice compliment for people to think that I might deserve it.”
‘9 to 5’ singer is patiently waiting in line to get the vaccine she helped fund
Although her donations helped to fund the Moderna vaccine, Parton revealed in an interview on Tuesday that she is still yet to be vaccinated because she doesn’t want to jump the queue.
The 75-year-old said: “I’m not going to get mine until some more people get theirs. I don’t want it to look like I’m jumping the line just because I donated money. I’m very funny about that. I’m going to get mine though, but I’m going to wait.”
She added: “I wasn’t doing it for a show… I’m going to get it. When I get it, I’ll probably do it on camera so people will know and I’ll tell them the truth, if I have symptoms and all that.
“Hopefully it’ll encourage people. I’m not going to jump the line just because I could.”
Of her contributions to the vaccine research, she said: “I get a lot more credit than I deserve I think, but I was just happy to be a part of any and all of that.”
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