Dear Commons Community,
President Joe Biden yesterday marked the “tragic milestone” of 1 million American lives lost to COVID-19, calling each death an “irreplaceable loss.”
“One million empty chairs around the dinner table,” Biden said in a statement (see video above). “Each leaving behind a family, a community, and a nation forever changed because of this pandemic. Jill and I pray for each of them.”
Biden directed flags on government buildings to be flown at half-staff for five days.
Though COVID-19 counts vary, the White House uses data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Johns Hopkins University, which showed deaths approaching the 1 million mark Thursday morning.
“I know the pain of that black hole in your heart,” said Biden, who has dealt with the loss of two of his children and his first wife. “But I also know the ones you love are never truly gone. They will always be with you.”
The president urged Congress to approve additional funding he requested to fight the pandemic. Without more money, the United States will lose its place in line for new COVID-19 treatments and vaccines for the fall when a new variant could hit, according to the administration.
A tragedy none of us expected in our lifetimes!