Mourning the loss of 400,000 Americans

Mourning the loss of 400,000 Americans
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Islam News – U.DS. President-elect Joe Biden held a somber ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial this evening to remember the more than 400,000 Americans who have died during the pandemic — a once unthinkable death toll and an extraordinary national loss.

“To heal we must remember,” Mr. Biden said before 400 lights were illuminated along the perimeter of the Reflecting Pool, each symbolizing 1,000 Americans who lost their lives during the pandemic. “It’s hard sometimes to remember. But that’s how we heal. It’s important to do that as a nation.”

The brief ceremony, on the eve of Mr. Biden’s inauguration, kicked off a “national moment of unity and remembrance” with commemorations at the Empire State Building in New York, the Space Needle in Seattle and other landmarks. It offered a stark contrast to the efforts of President Trump, who has repeatedly played down the severity of the pandemic and has led no national mourning for the hundreds of thousands of victims of Covid-19.

The horrific milestone of 400,000 deaths comes nearly one year after the first known Covid-19 death in the country (on Feb. 6, 2020) and as the pace of virus deaths in America is accelerating. The first 100,000 deaths were confirmed by May 27. Four months later, the U.S. recorded another 100,000 deaths. The next 100,000 deaths were logged in about three months. The latest arrived in just five weeks.

Mortality rates are not expected to peak until later this month, health experts say, and the death toll may reach 500,000 by the end of February.

But there are a few indications that the recent post-holiday surge may be slowing. The average number of cases per day has been on the decline, but, at 200,000, is still incredibly high. Hospitalizations have also finally begun to level off and on Sunday reached their lowest level since Jan. 2. However, new and more contagious variants of the virus are spreading across the country and could cause another spike in infections.

Mr. Biden will take the oath of office tomorrow and has called for an aggressive strategy for bringing the virus under control.

“You have my word that we will manage the hell out of this operation,” Mr. Biden said on Friday. “Our administration will lead with science and scientists.”

One day’s losses. A team of reporters at The Times combed through local obituaries and spoke to families to create a tapestry representing some of the lives lost to Covid-19 on a single day in January.

The failure that led to 400,000 deaths. After the White House declined to pursue a unified national strategy, governors faced off against lobbyists, health experts and a restless public consumed by misinformation.

Source: The New York Times

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