He urged fellow citizens to remain vigilant in the fight against the pandemic and wear masks
President Biden observed a moment of silence for the 500,000 Americans who died from COVID-19 and urged his countrymen to put aside differences and fight the pandemic together.
“Today marks a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone – 5,071 people have died. More Americans have died in one year from this pandemic 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 Emhoff held a moment of silence at the White House after the president spoke.
“As a nation, we cannot accept this cruel fate. Although we have fought this pandemic for so long, we must not become insensitive to the grief,” Biden said in an emotional address at the White House.
The U.S. president ordered that flags at federal and military installations be lowered for the next five days, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
Joe Biden urged Americans to remain vigilant in the fight against the pandemic by continuing to wear masks, maintain social distance and get vaccinated when the turn comes.
“We must end the policy of misinformation that has divided families, communities and the country. It has already cost too many lives,” he said. “We have to fight this together as one nation, as the United States of America.”
About 19 percent of all coronavirus deaths worldwide are in the United States, a huge number considering the country accounts for only 4 percent 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 former President Donald Trump’s administration largely left the states to themselves to deal with the biggest public health crisis in a century.