February 23, 2021 – 08:20
US President Joe Biden has called the more than 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus in the United States a “grim and sad moment” and called on the country to unite against the pandemic.
“I urge all Americans to remember – to remember those we lost and those we left behind,” Biden said in a televised address on February 22.
“I also urge them to act, to be vigilant, to keep their distance, to put on their masks and to be vaccinated when it is their turn.”
He urged Americans to enjoy the memory of missing family members and referred to his personal experience in dealing with such losses.
“For me, the path through grief is to find purpose,” Biden said in an emotional address from the White House.
He also said that Americans must show determination to end the policies and misinformation that are dividing families.
“We have to fight this as a person, like the United States,” he said.
Biden, accompanied by his wife Jill, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, then walked out of the White House to observe a moment of silence in front of the 500 candles representing the high death toll as the military band performed the song. Amazing Grace.
Earlier, flags were hoisted at half-staff in the White House and other federal buildings in the United States, as well as in embassies around the world, to commemorate the lives of the victims.
The United States has registered 500,159 coronavirus victims as of Feb. 22, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
That figure is about one-fifth of the global death toll, which has reached nearly 2.5 million.
The US, which has a population of 330 million, or about 5 percent of the world’s population, has recorded the highest number of casualties.
This country is currently facing the third wave of the pandemic.
Although the number of new cases of infection, hospitalization and deaths has dropped dramatically as vaccination rates rise, health officials believe the pandemic is far from over.