Biden To Mark 500,000 US COVID Deaths With White House Ceremony
President Joe Biden is set to mark the grim milestone of 500,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States with a ceremony at the White House.
The US is expected to surpass half a million deaths today, January 22, with 498,879 deaths having been recorded by 4am this morning.
In light of the figures, Biden, First Lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are expected to deliver a speech at sunset this evening, followed by a candle-lighting ceremony and moment’s silence.
‘In the evening, the President will deliver remarks on the lives lost to COVID-19 in the Cross Hall. The First Lady, the Vice President, and the Second Gentleman will be in attendance,’ the White House said in a statement, as per The Guardian.
‘Then, the president, the first lady, the vice president, and the second gentleman will hold a moment of silence and candle lighting ceremony at sundown in the South Portico.’
It comes a month after the POTUS predicted that at least 600,000 to 650,000 national deaths would be recorded before the country was able to ‘turn the corner in a major way.’
The US currently has the highest COVID-19 death toll in the world, with the mortality rate almost double of that seen in Brazil, which has the second highest death rate of 246,504, as per John Hopkins University.
Biden has long placed the blame for the death rate on his predecessor Donald Trump, who has been widely criticised for his handling of the pandemic.
‘While scientists did their job in discovering vaccines in record time, my predecessor – I’ll be very blunt about it – did not do his job in getting ready for the massive challenge of vaccinating hundreds of millions,’ he said, as per Sky News.
The US has now purchased enough COVID-19 jabs to ‘vaccinate all Americans’, and has a goal of administering 100 million doses within Biden’s first 100 days in office.
It looks as though the president is currently on track to deliver the target, with an average of 1.6 million people receiving their jabs each day.
Biden has prioritised taking control of the ongoing pandemic since taking over the White House on January 15, even going as far as signing 10 separate executive orders – all designed to curb the spread of infections – on his very first day in office.
Most Read StoriesMost Read