Obama cancels Harvard talk over 'COVID-like' symptoms

 October 20, 2023

Former President Barack Obama canceled a trip to Harvard Wednesday due to COVID-like symptoms, according to a statement.

Obama had been scheduled to speak at the school's "Future of the Internet Summit" at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

The statement

"The president woke up this morning with COVID-like symptoms," the lab said in a statement Wednesday.

"Out of an abundance of caution, he is not attending his public events today. The Summit is continuing as planned featuring his Senior Advisor on Technology, Jason Goldman," it added.

The situation

"Jason Goldman — Obama’s senior technology adviser — announced that the former president had withdrawn after experiencing 'Covid-like symptoms,'" the Harvard Crimson wrote.

"This would have marked Obama’s first Harvard appearance since his presidency. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991," it stated.

Avoiding problems?

"Meanwhile, students who thought Obama would be at the university staged a 'die-in' protest outside the business school, chanting 'Barry, Barry you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide,' and 'Free, free Palestine,'" BizPac Review reported.

"A spokesperson for the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee, which helped organize the protest, wrote that they believe Obama is 'deeply implicated' in the 'ongoing genocide' of Palestinians due to green-lighting 'billions of dollars' in military aid to Israel," it continued.

Obama, a graduate of Harvard Law School in 1991, instead left Goldman, his senior technology advisor, to speak on his behalf at the event.

The former president's health status was not later updated but he also did not attend other public events on that day. It is unclear if he has since tested negative for COVID-19.

The Harvard situation comes as controversy brews on many college campuses over the situation in Israel. Hamas terrorists killed over 1,300 Israelis, yet Palestinian supporters are arguing for a ceasefire before Israel has even retaliated in Gaza following the attacks.

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