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President Barack Obama presents Rep. John Lewis with the 2010 Medal of Freedom at the White House, Feb. 15, 2011. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama led messages of support for Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) after it was announced Sunday that the civil rights icon is being treated for stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

If there’s one thing I love about @RepJohnLewis, it’s his incomparable will to fight. I know he’s got a lot more of that left in him. Praying for you, my friend."
— Barack Obama's tweet

The big picture: Obama presented Lewis, 79 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. Lewis helped lead the 1963 civil rights March on Washington and has served in the House since 1987.

  • Per Axios' Zachary Basu, Lewis' endorsement of an impeachment inquiry in September "was seen as one of several significant turning points in the impeachment of President Trump."
What they're saying:
  • Former President Bill Clinton tweeted, "If there’s anyone with the strength and courage to fight this, it’s you, John. Hillary and I love you, and we join with millions of other Americans in praying for you and your family."
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a Twitter post, "we are all praying for you following this diagnosis. John, know that generations of Americans have you in their thoughts & prayers as you face this fight. We are all praying that you are comfortable. We know that you will be well."
  • Democratic presidential candidate and Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg tweeted, "John Lewis is a living example of strength that America needs now more than ever. We will be pulling for him and praying for him and his family as he battles cancer with his characteristic grace and courage."
  • 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said on Twitter, "My heart is with Rep. John Lewis and his family. He’s always been a fighter, and I know he'll continue making good trouble. Stay strong, John."
  • Democratic presidential candidate and businessman Andrew Yang tweeted, "You can fight this and win ... like you have fought so many times before."
  • Former Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who was on the receiving end of a warm tribute from Lewis when he retired this year, tweeted, "Praying for my friend, @repjohnlewis as he begins his fight against cancer. They don’t make them stronger or braver, and I’m confident he will take on this challenge as he has every other he’s faced: with courage and determination fueled by his strong faith."
  • Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) said on Twitter, "I’m keeping the Conscience of the House, @repjohnlewis, in my thoughts and prayers tonight. You’re not alone in this fight, my friend. The whole nation, which owes you an incredible debt, is with you."

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comments from Buttigieg, Warren, Yang and Cicilline.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

"Horrified": AP, Al Jazeera condemn Israel's bombing of their offices in Gaza

A ball of fire erupts from the Jalaa Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Associated Press and Al Jazeera on Saturday condemned the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed their and other media offices.

What they're saying: The White House, meanwhile, said it had "communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility," according to press secretary Jen Psaki.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
7 hours ago - Health

The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

The Wuhan Institute of Virology. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

A group of high-profile scientists published a letter calling for renewed investigation into the origins of COVID-19 — including the theory that it spilled out of a virology lab.

Why it matters: The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab and accidentally escaped — rather than emerging naturally from an animal — was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the letter shows a potential lab leak is increasingly being taken seriously.