President Biden observed a minute of silence in memory of the 500,000 Americans who died from COVID-19 and called on fellow countrymen to put aside their differences and work together to fight the pandemic.
“Today we are celebrating a truly dark, heartbreaking milestone – 500071 people have died. More Americans have died from this pandemic in a year than in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined, ”he said.
Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden, and Second Gentleman Doug Ehmhoff held a moment of silence at the White House after the president’s speech.
“As a nation, we cannot accept such a cruel fate. Although we have fought this pandemic for so long, we must not become insensitive to grief, ”Biden said in an emotional address at the White House.
The US President has ordered flags at federal and military facilities to be lowered over the next five days, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
Joe Biden urged Americans to remain vigilant in the fight against the pandemic by continuing to wear masks, maintain social distancing and get vaccinated when the turn comes.
“We must end the disinformation policy that has divided families, communities and the country. It has already cost too many lives, ”he said. “We must fight this together, as one people, as the United States of America.”
About 19% of the world’s total coronavirus deaths are in the United States, which is a huge figure considering that the country only accounts for 4% of the world’s population.
The United States has the highest overall mortality rate, reflecting the lack of a unified national strategy last year, when the administration of former President Donald Trump largely left states to their own devices in the fight against the biggest public health crisis in a century.