Gov. Whitmer among 7 awarded for courage by JFK Foundation

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FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2020 file photo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at Beech Woods Recreation Center, in Southfield, Mich. Whitmer and six other people who risked their own health and safety to help and protect others during the coronavirus pandemic will receive special Profile in Courage awards next month, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announced Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

BOSTON – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and six other people who risked their own health and safety to help and protect others during the coronavirus pandemic will receive Profile in Courage awards next month, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announced Tuesday.

The recipients, who also include a grocery story owner, a delivery driver, a nurse and an activist, were selected from among thousands of nominations submitted by people around the country, the foundation said in a statement.

“Today’s honorees put their own lives at risk to keep others safe. They inspire us all with their courage and give new meaning to President Kennedy’s legacy of public service,” said Caroline Kennedy, the president’s daughter and honorary president of the foundation.

The award is named after Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Profiles in Courage,” about eight U.S. senators who risked their careers by taking principled stands for unpopular positions.

The seven recipients of the COVID-19 courage award will be honored along with U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney during a virtual ceremony that will be aired May 26.

The Utah Republican in March was named the recipient of the annual award created by the family of the late president for public figures who risk their careers by embracing unpopular positions for the greater good.

Romney is being honored for being the only Republican to vote to convict former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial.

Whitmer faced harsh backlash for her measures to control the coronavirus in her home state, including armed protests at the state capitol and an alleged plot to kidnap and kill her. Thirteen people, who authorities say were motivated in part by resentment over pandemic restrictions, have been charged in connection to the plot.