Biden bemoans 500,000 Coronavirus deaths in US
US President Joe Biden speaks about the 500,000 Americans that have died from COVID-19, in Washington. (Photo: AP)
WASHINGTION: As the nation marked 500,000 deaths because of COVID-19, U.S. President Joe Biden at twilight Monday walked to a White House South Portico decorated with black bunting and 500 candles.
Alongside the president were first lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, who is known as the second gentleman. They stood silently as the Marine Corps band played the Christian hymn, “Amazing Grace.”
As the music concluded, Biden, a Catholic, made the sign of the cross.
A few minutes earlier at the Cross Hall on the first floor of the White House, Biden asked the nation to join in the moment of silence and, in a subdued tone, directed remarks to those who had lost loved ones to the virus.
“It seems unbelievable, but I promise you the day will come when the memory of the one you have lost brings a smile to your lips before a tear to your eye,” the president said. “We will get through this, I promise you.”
He also spoke of the cruelty of death amid the pandemic.
“So many of the rituals that help us cope, that help us honor those we loved, haven’t been available to us,” the president noted. “As a nation, we cannot and we must not let this go on.”
The president on Monday ordered U.S. flags on federal property lowered to half-staff for five days.