US passes 500,000 COVID-19 deaths: Biden laments ‘heartbreaking milestone’

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US President Joe Biden speaks about lives misplaced to Covid after loss of life toll handed 500,000, within the Cross Corridor of the White Home in Washington, DC, February 22, 2021.
Picture Credit score: AFP

Washington: President Joe Biden led People in observing a second of silence on Monday to commemorate the grim milestone of 500,000 US deaths from COVID-19, urging People to put aside partisan variations and struggle the pandemic collectively.

“At present we mark a really grim, heartbreaking milestone – 500,071 lifeless. That’s extra People who’ve died in a single yr on this pandemic than in World Struggle One, World Struggle Two and the Vietnam Struggle mixed,” he mentioned.

Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, first girl Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff marked a second of silence at 6.15pm (3.15am UAE) on the White Home after the president’s remarks.

“As a nation, we will’t settle for such a merciless destiny. Whereas we’ve been combating this pandemic for thus lengthy, we’ve to withstand turning into numb to sorrow,” Biden mentioned in an emotional handle on the White Home.

Biden additionally ordered that every one flags on federal properties and army services be lowered to half-staff for the following 5 days, White Home spokeswoman Jen Psaki mentioned.

The president known as on People to stay vigilant in combating the pandemic by persevering with to put on marks, observe social distancing and obtain vaccinations when it was their flip.

“We should finish the politics of misinformation which have divided households, communities and the nation. It’s value too many lives already,” he mentioned. “We now have to struggle this collectively as one folks, as the US of America.” About 19 per cent of whole international coronavirus deaths have occurred in the US, an outsized determine on condition that the nation accounts for simply 4 per cent of the worlds inhabitants.

The nation has the very best total loss of life determine, reflecting the dearth of a unified, nationwide response final yr, when the administration of former President Donald Trump principally left states to their very own gadgets in tackling the best public well being disaster in a century.

Biden, a Democrat, took workplace on Jan. 20 after defeating Trump, a Republican, within the 2020 presidential election, partly by arguing he would do a greater job of addressing the pandemic.

Trump downplayed the pandemic in its early phases and repeatedly predicted rosier numbers in regards to the anticipated loss of life toll in the US than got here to fruition.

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