President Joe Biden led a moment of silence Monday night, mourning the more than 500,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus pandemic. At a candlelighting ceremony at the White House at dusk, Biden, First Lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, fell silent as a Navy band played “Amazing Grace.” Biden ordered the flags of federal buildings to fly at half-mast for five days.
“We have to resist becoming numb to pain. We have to resist seeing each life as a statistic or a blur. ” ”- President Joe Biden
The United States officially passed the 500,000 mark earlier in the day. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, 500,172 Americans have died from COVID-19 in just over a year. The United States has the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world, by far, as well as the most cases of the virus, more than 28.1 million. Commemorating the “truly grim and heartbreaking milestone,” Biden called for unity and urged all Americans to do their part to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. “Today I ask all Americans to remember. Remember those we lost, those we left behind, ”he said. “But as we all remember, I also ask us to act, to be vigilant, to remain socially distant, to mask ourselves. Get vaccinated when it‘s your turn. We must end the politics and misinformation that has divided families, communities and the country and has already cost too many lives. It is not the Democrats and Republicans who are dying from the virus, it is our fellow Americans. “We have to fight this together, as one people, like the United States of America. that’s the only way we’re going to beat this virus, “added Biden. “That this is not a story of how far we fell, but of how far we climbed.”