White House Ceremony Remembers 500,000 Lives Lost to COVID-19 In US

Headline Roundup February 22nd, 2021

On Monday, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris held a moment of silence for Americans who have died from COVID-19 after the United States reached 500,000 deaths from the virus this week. Biden and Harris, along with First Lady Jill Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, looked over 500 candles lit on the South Lawn of the White House as a Marine Corps band played "Amazing Grace." In a brief address to the nation, Biden acknowledged that the number of "Americans who have died in one year in this pandemic is more than in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined," and more lives lost to the virus than any other country. “[As] we acknowledge the scale of this mass death in America, we remember each person and the life they lived,” Biden said, sharing his personal experiences with grief. "It's also important to do that as a nation. Those who have lost loved ones, here's what I know: They're never truly gone. They'll always be part of your heart." The number comes more than a year after the first case of COVID-19 was announced stateside on Jan. 21; John Hopkins estimates there have been more than 28 million infections in the nation.

The ceremony received coverage across the political spectrum. Some outlets from the left and center compared Biden's response to former President Donald Trump's attempts to "downplay" the scale of the pandemic.

White House Ceremony Remembers 500,000 Lives Lost to COVID-19 In US

From the Center
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President Biden and Vice President Harris acknowledged a grim milestone Monday: the deaths of more than 500,000 Americans from COVID-19.

Biden and Harris, along with first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff, emerged from the White House at sundown. They stood at the foot of the South Portico, covered in 500 candles honoring the dead, and listened to a Marine Corps band play "Amazing Grace" as they held a moment of silence.

Before the brief ceremony, Biden spoke, emotionally and somberly, from the White House. As he often...

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From the Right
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President Biden on Monday held a moment of silence for the 500,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 after the US passed what he called the “truly grim, heartbreaking milestone.”

His address was largely aimed at the families that have suffered loss in his 6 p.m. televised speech from the White House. Afterward he hosted a candlelit outdoor commemoration with first lady Jill, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff.

“500,071 dead. That’s more Americans who have died in one year in this pandemic than in World War...

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From the Left
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Hours after the U.S. crossed the threshold of 500,000 deaths from COVID-19, President Biden commemorated the lives lost over the past year on Monday night. No other country has lost more lives to the yearlong pandemic than the U.S.

"Today, we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone," he said in a brief speech at the White House. "500,071 dead. That's more Americans who died in one year in this pandemic than in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined."

Remembrance, Mr. Biden said, is an important...

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