More than 500,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S.?
This week President Joe Biden is asking Americans to mark the 500,000 deaths with a moment of silence at sunset Monday.
He’s also ordered flags on all federal buildings lowered to half-staff for five days.
The disease has killed at least 100,000 people in the past five weeks and was the leading cause of death in the country in January, ahead of heart disease, cancer and other ailments, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Losing half a million lives to this disease was unimaginable when the first few people died of COVID-19 in the U.S last February, and then-President Donald Trump dismissed the pandemic.
The disease soon began to ravage nursing homes and the five boroughs of New York City, frequently striking those left most vulnerable because of age, poor health, job requirements or crowded living conditions.
Trump made 33 false claims about the coronavirus crisis in the first two weeks of March, about the coronavirus pandemic — understating the extent of the crisis, overstating the availability of tests, inaccurately blaming his predecessor and wrongly insisting that the crisis was unforeseen.
Trump told journalist Bob Woodward that he “wanted to always play it down” regarding the threat to the public health of Americans presented by COVID-19 despite being told that it may be five times “more deadly” than the common flu.
Trump gave eighteen digital-tape-recorded interviews to Woodward for his book, lasting nine hours, the president saying at one point: “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
The book, Rage, concludes with Woodward’s assessment that Trump was “the wrong man for the job.”
Now, around 2,000 people die from the disease every day on average, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, down from a high of over 3,000 a day on average in mid-January.
Now, Biden is starting over, replacing the incompetent and stupid response with a science-driven approach that aims to use government resources to inoculate the population and provide treatment for those infected with the disease.
With a poignant address to the nation, Biden said in brief remarks before a moment of silence for those who died from the virus: “Let this not be a story of how far we fell, but how far we climbed back up.”
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