Joe Biden

Joe Biden honors the half million US lives misplaced to coronavirus

“The individuals we misplaced have been extraordinary. They spanned generations,” he stated. “Similar to that, they took their closing breath alone, in America.”

Biden spoke from expertise when it got here to describing the grief of shedding a cherished one.

“For the family members left behind: I do know all too effectively. I do know what it is prefer to not be there when it occurs. I do know what it is like when you’re there holding their palms, there is a look of their eye and so they slip away,” Biden stated.

“I do know that while you stare at that vacant chair across the kitchen desk it brings all of it again irrespective of how way back it occurred, as if it simply occurred that second,” he added.

The President additionally expressed optimism, telling People: “We’ll get via this, I promise you.”

“We ask you to affix us to recollect. So we will heal. To seek out function, and the work forward to indicate that there’s mild within the darkness,” Biden stated. “This nation will smile once more. This nation will know sunny days once more. This nation will know pleasure once more.”

He additionally warned of the prices of complacency within the face of such staggering loss.

“Whereas we have been preventing this pandemic for thus lengthy, we have now to withstand turning into numb to the sorrow,” Biden stated. “We have now to withstand viewing every life as a statistic, or a blur, or on the information.”

Biden then participated in a second of silence, standing by 500 lighted candles exterior the White Home, joined by first woman Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff.

In remembrance of the deaths, Biden additionally issued a presidential proclamation Monday afternoon that ordered the flag of america to be flown at half-staff for 5 days in any respect federal buildings and army posts within the US and overseas.

Biden, Harris and their spouses additionally participated in a somber ceremony on the Lincoln Memorial forward of Inauguration Day a couple of month in the past to mark 400,000 American lives misplaced to Covid-19.

Final week, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki stated the administration was engaged on plans so the President may use his “personal voice and platform to take a second to recollect the individuals whose lives have been misplaced, the households who’re nonetheless struggling.”

The Biden administration’s strategy to the coronavirus marks a stark distinction to how President Donald Trump responded publicly to the pandemic. Trump continuously defended his administration’s response to the pandemic however hardly ever expressed grief for the victims — as soon as telling “Axios on HBO” in September that the US Covid-19 dying toll “is what it’s.”

Whereas coronavirus instances are trending down and vaccinations are ticking up, the US is struggling to get a deal with on the menace posed by new variants.

Consultants — each inside and out of doors the White Home — are nonetheless removed from sure that America is lastly clawing its approach out of the pandemic, with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s high infectious illness specialist, telling CNN Sunday that it is “attainable” People will nonetheless must put on masks in 2022 to guard in opposition to the coronavirus, even because the US might attain “a big diploma of normality” by the top of this yr.

This story has been up to date with further particulars.

CNN’s Arlette Saenz, Paul LeBlanc and Jason Hoffman contributed to this report.

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