The White House has reported that as of Thursday, May 12th, the United States has surpassed the one million mortality mark from the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the possibility of another wave, cities like New York are working to put the pandemic behind them.
President Biden declared, “Today, we mark a tragic milestone: one million American lives lost to COVID-19. As a nation, we must not grow numb to such sorrow.” He continued, “To heal, we must remember. We must remain vigilant against this pandemic and do everything we can to save as many lives as possible, as we have with more testing, vaccines, and treatments than ever before. It is critical that Congress sustain these resources in the coming months.”
His address marked the launch of a second virtual summit focusing on the global response to the continuing health calamity and the prevention of future pandemics. The summit is co-hosted by the United States alongside nations such as Belize, Germany, Indonesia, and Senegal.
The summit aims to build on commitments made at the initial global conference in September 2021, such as increasing vaccination rates, delivering testing and medicines to the most vulnerable communities, strengthening safeguards for healthcare workers, and raising funds for pandemic preparedness.
As the US reached the “tragic milestone” of one million fatalities from the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden urged global leaders to commit to a renewed worldwide attempt to fight the virus. Since its discovery in late 2019, the coronavirus has killed 40,000 New Yorkers, 999,000 people in the United States, and at least 6.2 million people worldwide.
He urged locals to “remain vigilant against this pandemic” and stated that Congress’ funding of services like diagnostics, vaccinations, and treatments was “critical.”
Biden renewed his call for more COVID-19 funding from Congress. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are attempting to push through a trimmed-down $10 billion Coronavirus aid plan. The administration’s effort to repeal Title 42, a pandemic-era restriction barring migration at the US border, has previously been rejected by Senate Republicans.
Democrats attempted to tie the COVID-19 package to supplementary money for Ukraine in order to assure its passage, but the two bills were uncoupled earlier this week.
While COVID-related mortality has decreased in recent weeks, roughly 360 people are still dying every day. The death toll is significantly greater than most people expected in the early days of the pandemic, especially given former President Donald Trump’s constant downplaying of the illness while in office.
To honor individuals who died as a result of contracting the virus, Biden issued a proclamation on Thursday, May 12th, ordering that US flags be flown at half-staff until sunset on Monday, May 16th.