President Biden marks 1 million COVID-19 deaths

The commander-in-chief ordered the flags to be lowered half staff at the White House and federal buildings.

WASHINGTON – There have been 1 million American lives lost to the coronavirus as President Joe Biden marks this tragic milestone on Thursday.

The commander-in-chief ordered the flags to be lowered half staff at the White House and federal buildings to pay respect to the lives that were lost due to COVID-19.

“One million empty chairs around the dinner table, each irreplaceable loses, each leaving behind a family and community forever changed by this pandemic,” Biden said.

The coronavirus has killed more than 999,000 people in the U.S. and at least 6.2 million people globally since it emerged in late 2019, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Other counts, including by the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, and American Nurses Association, have the toll at 1 million.

His remarks come amid the second global COVID-19 summit in Washington D.C., where world leaders discussed new concerns about a possible summer surge.

As hospitalizations hit their highest levels since mid-March while more than half the country faces a 10 percent increase in cases since last week alone.

“A million people have died – it’s such a terrible toll and when you think of what it means in the lives of those families,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

President Biden is calling on Congress for help to approve emergency money to combat the virus.

“As we hit this tragic milestone, clearly we still must act to fund COVID-19 treatments, vaccines, and tests, both to keep our families and our economy healthy and safe,” South Florida representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said.

Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus-Mccormick adds “It is truly a tragedy that one million Americans have perished throughout the course of this deadly pandemic. It is for that reason that I fully support President Biden’s push to secure more funding for Covid-19 relief.”

The Biden administration does warn that as many as 100 million Americans could get infected by a COVID-19 wave this fall and winter.

About the Author:

Ben Kennedy is an Emmy Award-winning Washington Bureau Chief for Local 10 News.