“One million empty chairs around the dinner table. Each an irreplaceable loss. Each leaving behind a family, a community, and a Nation forever changed because of this pandemic,” Biden said in a statement this morning.
Today, President Biden ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff to mark the “tragic milestone” of 1 million U.S. lives lost to the coronavirus. He warns the American people that they must “remain vigilant against this pandemic.”
According to Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, along with Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff, will commemorate the lives lost to the coronavirus at a Monday evening ceremony. This ceremony will include remarks, a candle-lighting ceremony, and a moment of silence.
“As a Nation, we must not grow numb to such sorrow,” he continued. “To heal, we must remember. We must remain vigilant against this pandemic and do everything we can to save as many lives as possible.”
According to a Washington Post tracker, indicating how many people have died due to COVID, it is set to reach one million this week. The CDC puts the nation’s death toll at 995,747 as of Thursday morning. Amid this news, members of Congress plan a moment of silence on the Capitol steps later Thursday today.
In his statement, he also nudges Congress to pass the stalled $10 billion package that aims to boost the availability of testing, therapeutics, and vaccines nationwide.
Another item on President Biden’s agenda for today is combatting the recent shortages in baby formula. He plans on speaking with retailers and formula manufacturers about their efforts in making baby formula more widely available. He also plans to host leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at the White House.