A grim milestone today as the United States officially marks half a million lost to coronavirus. The AP writes that it’s as if an entire city perished:
The lives lost, as recorded by Johns Hopkins University, are about equal to the population of Kansas City, Missouri, and greater than that of Miami; Raleigh, North Carolina; or Omaha, Nebraska.
President Joe Biden marked this somber day with remarks from the White House Monday evening. It was a moving eulogy of those lost with poignant words for their loved ones:
“They are never truly gone. They will always be part of your heart. It seems unbelievable, but I promise you, the day will come when the memory of the loved one you lost will bring a smile to your lips before a tear to your eye.”
The remarks were unlike anything we have heard in the White House over the last four years.
Biden: "Today we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone. 500,071 dead. That's more Americans who have died in 1 year in this pandemic than in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined. That's more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on Earth." pic.twitter.com/bP7qRMyPgX
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 22, 2021
The president’s remarks were followed by a candle lighting ceremony and a moment of silence at the White House. All the broadcast and cable news networks carried the moment live.
A moment of silence and a rendition of "Amazing Grace" to honor the 500,000 Americans who have now died from COVID-19.
President Biden says a small prayer to himself before going back into the White House. pic.twitter.com/PodjQLXiS0
— Norah O'Donnell 🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) February 22, 2021
Today the Washington National Cathedral tolled “its funeral bell 500 times to mourn 500,000 lives lost to #COVID19.” It rang once for every 1,000 dead.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 22, 2021
Earlier in the day, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also asked for a moment of silence.
Pelosi leads the House of Representatives in a moment of silence to mark 500,000 American deaths from coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/6RNZoBa948
— Zach Purser Brown (@zachjourno) February 22, 2021