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Former President Obama backs out of Harvard University event with COVID symptoms

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Former President Barack Obama was slated to make an appearance at Harvard University on Wednesday but was forced to cancel after he woke up suffering from COVID-like symptoms, an official said.

Obama had planned to join Harvard Law School in celebrating the launch of its new Applied Social Media Lab.

“Unfortunately, President Obama woke up with COVID-like symptoms this morning and is not able to attend any events on his public schedule for the day,” Jason Goldman, senior advisor to Harvard’s president for technology, said in a statement. “He’s very sorry to miss this because he is deeply committed to the work of the lab and a big believer that this conversation in terms of how the future of the internet needs to evolve is timely and completely relevant for the moment that we’re in.”

Harvard described the new lab as a “first-of-its-kind university hub for technologists seeking to break away from the social media industry and use their skills to assess and build new products and protocols that serve the public.”

There was no immediate word on the severity of Obama’s symptoms.

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