That’s a higher figure than the number of Americans killed at the front lines in the two World Wars and Vietnam combined. The toll of the Covid-19 epidemic in the United States, which exceeded 500,000 dead on Monday, is “heartbreaking”, US President Joe Biden said in a moving speech from the White House.
Tune in as President Biden delivers remarks and observes a moment of silence for the lives lost to COVID-19. https://t.co/5oNg5jahuS
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 22, 2021
“We must resist the temptation to see each life as a statistic (…) We must do it to honor the dead,” he added as he was about to observe a minute of silence in the presence of his wife Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff. “I also ask that we take action, that we remain vigilant, that we keep our distance, that we wear masks, that we get vaccinated,” he added.
France not far behind per capita
After the speech, the two couples of the American executive appeared in front of the White House, where they meditated for a few moments, first silent then accompanied in this tribute by the very popular hymn “Amazing Grace”, played by a marine orchestra.
Joe Biden then signed himself, surrounded by 500 candles to symbolize the 500,000 dead arranged on the balcony of the White House and on the stairs leading to it, before disappearing from view and the cameras.
With 500,159 people having succumbed to the virus and more than 28 million cases of contamination, the United States is the country most affected in the world in absolute value by the pandemic. With 1.5 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants, the United States is ahead of France (1.3 / 1,000), at the same level as Italy and Spain, but behind the United Kingdom (1.8 / 1,000) and Belgium (1.9 / 1,000).