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Biden Orders Federal Flags to Fly at Half-Staff as U.S. Covid Toll Nears One Million


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President Biden, anticipating the milestone of a million American lives lost to Covid-19, said in a proper statement on Thursday that the US must stay committed to fighting a virus that has “ceaselessly modified” the country.

“We must remain vigilant against this pandemic and do every little thing we are able to to avoid wasting as many lives as possible, as we’ve got with more testing, vaccines and coverings than ever before,” he said. “It’s critical that Congress sustain these resources in the approaching months.”

The statement got here hours before Mr. Biden convened his second Covid-19 summit, geared toward injecting latest urgency into the worldwide coronavirus response. Mr. Biden may also issue a proclamation on Thursday ordering flags on the White House and all federal buildings to be flown at half-staff until next Monday to mark the a million deaths.

As of Wednesday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had reported greater than 995,000 coronavirus deaths in the US; a Latest York Times database put the figure at greater than 997,000. But with heads of state, leaders of philanthropies and drug makers attending the virtual gathering, Mr. Biden was able to mark the approaching moment.

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Well into the pandemic’s third yr, Covid-19 has turn out to be the third leading reason behind death amongst Americans, behind only heart disease and cancer. Its toll has prolonged deep into the lives of families across the US. An estimated 250,000 children have lost parents or caregivers to Covid-19; of those, nearly 200,000 have lost one or each parents.

The pandemic has also defined the Biden presidency. Mr. Biden got here into office vowing to beat Covid-19, but hopes of achieving “herd immunity” through the mixture of vaccination and exposure gave approach to the tough realization that vaccines’ protective power against infection could wane and that latest variants made reinfection more common. Political divisions have thwarted mask and vaccine mandates.

Thursday’s meeting was an effort by the president to place Covid-19 back on the radar screen, each in the US and across the globe. The White House has asked Congress for $22.5 billion in latest emergency coronavirus aid, however the request is stalled on Capitol Hill, as is a compromise proposal for $10 billion in aid.

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