WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses will commemorate the grim milestone of 500,000 U.S. deaths from COVID-19 with a second of silence on Monday night and ask all Americans to participate, the White House mentioned.

“They will ask all Americans to join in a moment of silence during a candle lighting ceremony at sundown,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki instructed reporters.

Biden will order all flags on federal properties to be lowered to half-staff for the following 5 days, Psaki mentioned.

“Tonight’s events, including the president’s remarks, will highlight the magnitude of loss that this milestone marks for the American people,” she mentioned. “He will also speak to the power of the American people to turn the tide on this pandemic by working together, following … public health guidelines, and getting in line to be vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.”

Biden is scheduled to talk on the difficulty at 6:00 pm ET from the White House. He, first woman Jill Biden, Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff are scheduled to carry a second of silence at 6:15 pm.

About 19% of whole world coronavirus deaths have occurred within the United States, an outsized determine provided that the nation accounts for simply 4% of the world’s inhabitants.

The nation has the best general dying figures, reflecting the dearth of a unified, nationwide response final yr, when the administration of former President Donald Trump largely left states to their very own units in tackling the best public well being disaster in a century. 

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