President Joe Biden has addressed the nation as the US passed the figure of 500,000 Covid-related deaths, the highest number of any country.
“As a nation, we can’t accept such a cruel fate. We have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow,” he said.
The president and vice-president, and their spouses, then observed a moment of silence outside the White House during a candle-lighting ceremony.
Confirmed US infections now stand at 28.1 million, also a global record.”Today I ask all Americans to remember. Remember those we lost and remember those we left behind,” President Biden said, calling for Americans to fight Covid together.
How did Biden mark the occasion?
The president ordered all flags on federal property to be lowered to half mast for the next five days.
At the White House, he opened his speech by noting that the number of American deaths from Covid was higher than the death toll from World War One, World War Two, and the Vietnam War combined.
“Today we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone – 500,071 dead,” he said.
“We often hear people described as ordinary Americans,” he went on to say. “There’s no such thing, there’s nothing ordinary about them. The people we lost were extraordinary. They span generations. Born in America, emigrated to America.”
“So many of them took their final breath alone in America.”