Tuesday, February 23, 2021

US President Joe Biden: “500,071 dead – those were people we knew”


Published

The USA has crossed the symbolic threshold of half a million corona deaths. The flags are raised at half-mast across the country.

Commemoration of the corona dead: US President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff (from left) in front of the White House. (February 22, 2021)

AFP / Saul Loeb

One year after the first corona death in the United States, the number of victims in the country has exceeded the symbolic threshold of half a million. According to a count by Johns Hopkins University on Monday, more than 500,000 people have died as a result of infection since the pandemic began. President Joe Biden ordered that flags be raised at half mast across the country.

Biden spoke in the White House of a “horrific, heartbreaking milestone”. 500,071 dead. That means more Americans have died in this pandemic in one year than in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined. ” Biden was referring to US soldiers who were killed in combat.

The USA also had more corona deaths than any other country in the world, said Biden. He promised the victims would never forget: “They were people we knew.”

28 million infections

At the same time, the president called for not only to remember the dead, but also to act in the fight against the pandemic. “We have to fight together.” Then the virus could be defeated, said Biden. “I promise you: we will get through this together.”

The USA is by far the country with the most confirmed corona infections and deaths worldwide. More than 28 million infections have been confirmed in the country since the beginning of the pandemic.

The first positive corona test in the US was announced on January 21, 2020, and the first death on February 29. The threshold of 100,000 deaths was exceeded only three months later, the threshold of 200,000 deaths in September, the threshold of 300,000 deaths in mid-December and the threshold of 400,000 deaths in mid-January.

Criticism of Trump’s crisis management

Critics blame the then President Donald Trump’s crisis management for the extent of the pandemic in the country. Trump had repeatedly downplayed the danger posed by the virus and insisted on a quick return to normal after the lockdown months.

His successor Biden has made the fight against the corona virus his most urgent task. Among other things, he wants to accelerate the vaccination campaign and has issued new requirements for wearing protective masks.

Biden now ordered the flags to be set at half mast nationwide by Friday evening in memory of the 500,000 corona deaths. The President, together with his wife Jill, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, held a minute’s silence in front of the White House that evening for the victims. Numerous candles were lit.

Amid the bad news, there is also good news: The number of new infections has been falling sharply in the US for weeks. More than 61 million people have already received at least one corona vaccination, 18 million people have already received both syringes.

(AFP / chk)





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