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Biden mourns 500,000 deaths, balancing nation’s grief and hope

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WASHINGTON (AP) –

At sunset remarks, in a moment of national silence, President Biden on Monday faced the country’s once-unimaginable loss of half a million Americans in the COVID-19 epidemic as he tried to strike a balance between mourning and hope.

Directly addressing the “gloomy, heartbreaking destination” in public, Biden stepped on the podium of the White House, took off his face mask, and delivered an emotional eulogy to more than 500,000 Americans who said they felt they knew.

“We often hear people describe themselves as ordinary Americans,” he said. There is no such thing, “he said Monday night. “It simply came to our notice then. The people we lost were extraordinary. ”

“Like all right,” he added, “many of them breathed their last alone.”

A president whose own life was marked by a family tragedy, Biden spoke deeply of his own loss, referring to his own loss as he sought to comfort a large number of Americans whose lives had been changed by the epidemic.

“I know this very well. “I know what it means to not be there when it happens,” said Biden, who has long spoken of grief more powerfully than any other American public figure. “I know what it’s like when you’re there, holding hands as they stare into your eyes. That black hole in your chest, you feel absorbed in it. ”

The president, who lost his first wife and newborn daughter in a car crash and later his eldest son to brain cancer, drank his grief in a message of hope.

“This nation will smile again. This nation will know sunny days again. These people will be happy again. And as we do, we will remember every person we have lost, the lives they have lived, the loved ones they have left behind. ”

He said. “We have to face the sadness. We have to face every life as a statistic or a fog or a news watch. We must do this to honor the dead. But it is just as important to take care of the living. ”

The president has ordered that federal property flags be lowered to half staff for five days and then led to a moment of community mourning for those who have lost the virus, often preventing people from gathering to remember their loved ones. On Monday, the gloomy threshold of 500,000 deaths was playing against conflicting currents. Incentive decline in coronavirus դեպ Concern over the spread of more infectious variants.

Biden’s management of the epidemic will surely mark at least the first year of his presidency, “his response showed by preparing for the current tensions in the nation’s dark weeks,” while offering optimism about pushing vaccines that could ultimately lead to this American tragedy. to the end.

After her speech, the President and First Lady Il Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff stood at the White House for a moment of silence. The blast ripped through the front door as they passed. Five hundred shining candles, each standing for 1,000 people, lit up the stairs on either side of them as the Marine Orchestra played the mourning performance of “Amazing Grace.”

The event comes a year after the first confirmed death from the coronavirus in the United States. After that, the epidemic spread all over the world, in the United States, emphasizing the nation’s health care system, shaking its economy, and rewriting the rules of everyday society.

During one of his many symbolic breaks with his predecessor, Biden did not shy away from recounting his life lost to the virus. His first stop after arriving in Washington on the eve of the inauguration was to attend a twilight ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflection Pool.

That gloomy moment on the eve of Biden’s inauguration – usually a holiday when America celebrates the democratic tradition of peaceful transfer of power – was a huge measure of loss for the nation.

The total number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States was just over 400,000 when Biden was sworn in. An additional 100,000 people have died in the past month.

Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to reduce the total, initially claiming that the virus would go away on its own and then closing in on the prediction that America would suffer more than 100,000 deaths. When that sign went completely dark, Trump changed the transmissions again, saying the scale of the damage was actually a success story, as it could have been much worse.

Outside of the murky tweets marking the 100,000 և 200,000 death toll, Trump controlled no moment of national mourning, no commemoration. He did not mention the suffering at the Republican National Assembly, leaving it to First Lady Melania Trump.

And during nationwide campaigns, he erroneously predicted that the nation was being “rounded off” by the virus, while he ignored security measures such as masks and urged governors to lift restrictions on public health advice. Audio footage released last fall revealed that Trump told reporter Bob Woodward in March, “I always wanted to play. I still like to play it because I do not want to panic. “

On the contrary, Biden has long used his personal tragedy to comfort those in pain. He promised to be on an equal footing with the American public on the severity of the crisis, and repeatedly warned that people were going through a “very dark winter”, which now challenges the arrival of more contagious versions of the virus.

Biden also deliberately lowered expectations, particularly regarding vaccines, when the country could return to normal knowing that it could achieve a political victory by surpassing them. He is on track to deliver on his initial promise of 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days, and some health professionals are now urging him to set a much more ambitious goal. The administration says that by the end of July, every American will have enough vaccines.

Biden’s reference to a possible return to normalcy the following Christmas’s eyebrows raised at the epidemic-tired nation’s seemed more optimistic than predictions made by its own administration, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, that it would return in the summer.

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Lemir reports from New York.

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