Biden marks ‘tragic milestone’ of 1 million American lives lost to COVID-19

Washington- President Biden commemorated the 1 million American lives lost to COVID-19 on Thursday in opening remarks at the second Global COVID Summit, a virtual gathering of world leaders, non-governmental organizations and private sector companies hosted by the White House.

“Today we mark a tragic milestone here in the United States: 1 million deaths from COVID. A million empty chairs around the family table. Every irreplaceable, irreplaceable loss,” Biden said in recorded remarks from the White House. “Each one leaves behind a family, a community, forever changed because of this pandemic. My heart goes out to everyone who is struggling.”

1 million COVID deaths: a timeline of unprecedented milestones


In recognition of the high toll of the disease, Mr. Biden also issued a proclamation directing flags to fly at half-staff until sunset on May 16.

The president urged Congress to approve more funding for his administration’s COVID-19 efforts, saying the world is “at a new stage in fighting this pandemic, facing an evolving set of challenges.”

“I continue to call on Congress here at home to take urgent action to provide emergency COVID-19 funding that is vital to protecting Americans, to make sure we maintain our supplies of COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines, including the next generation vaccines that are being developed,” Biden said.

Biden marks ‘tragic milestone’ of 1 million American lives lost to COVID-19


The coronavirus ranks only behind heart disease and cancer as the leading causes of death in the United States in the past two years, claiming far more lives than other infectious diseases. By comparison, the 2017-18 flu season, one of the deadliest in decades, claimed an estimated 52,000 lives.

The pace of deaths from COVID-19 has been slowing recently. The 7-day moving average is now around 300 reports per day, down from more than 3,000 per day in February.

Federal health officials say vaccines have significantly reduced the number of deaths, and could have saved even more lives if only more Americans had gotten the shots. In recent months, the increasing availability of troops COVID-19 treatments it has also helped decrease the number of victims.

CDC survey data suggests vaccination rates are now similar among adults of all races, although booster shots lag behind among Hispanic and black adults.

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