Video source: YouTube, Associated Press
By JONATHAN LEMIRE and JOSH BOAK
Washington (AP) — In sunset remarks and silent prayer, President Joe Biden faced a country’s once unimaginable loss on Monday with 500,000 Americans at the COVID-19 pandemic. I did. Mourning and hope.
Biden addressed the “disastrous and tragic milestones” directly and publicly, stepping into the White House Crosshall podium, removing his face mask and sending emotional compliments to more than 500,000 Americans. It was.
“We often hear people called ordinary Americans. That’s not the case,” he said on Monday night. “They have nothing normal. The people we lost were extraordinary.”
“That way, many of them died alone,” he added.
Image: Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Kamala Harris, Doug Emhoff, February 22, 2021. Source: Instagram @potus
Biden, the president whose life was characterized by family tragedy, mentions his loss in trying to comfort the vast number of Americans whose lives have changed forever due to the pandemic, deeply personal. I spoke in words.
“I know very well. I know what it’s like not to be there when it happens,” he said, perhaps more powerfully than any other American public figure for a long time in grief. Biden said. “I know what it looks like when you’re there, they look into your eyes, they slide down, and hold their hands. Black holes in the chest are like being sucked in. I feel. “
The president, who lost his first wife and baby daughter in a car accident and later lost his adult son to a brain tumor, left a message of hope and sadness.
“This country will smile again. This country will know a sunny day again. This country will know joy again. And, as we do, we lost us. Each one remembers the life they lived in and the loved ones they left behind. “
He said. “We have to resist being insensitive to sadness. We have to resist seeing each life as statistics, blur, or news. We are dead. You have to do that to honor, but just as important is to make a living. “
The president ordered the flag of federal property to be lowered to the flag for five and a half days, and then led a moment in memory of those who lost the virus, which often prevented people from gathering to remember their loved ones. The severe threshold of 500,000 deaths on Monday countered conflicting cross currents. Concerns over the decline in coronavirus cases and the spread of more contagious mutants.
Biden’s pandemic management firmly defines at least the first year of his inauguration, while his reaction is optimistic about pushing out vaccines that could ultimately lead to this American tragedy. At the end, it shows the inherent tension between preparing the country for a dark week.
After he spoke, the President stood outside the White House with First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff to silence at sunset. A black bunting covered the doorway they passed through. While the Marine band performed the melancholy rendition of “Amazing Grace,” 500 brightly lit candles (1,000 lost each) illuminated the stairs on either side.
The milestone is more than a year after the first death of the coronavirus in the United States was confirmed. Since then, the pandemic has swept the world and the United States, emphasizing the national health system, shaking the economy and rewriting the rules of everyday society.
In one of his many iconic breaks with his predecessor, Biden did not hesitate to provide the virus with a memory of lost life. His first stop after arriving in Washington on the eve of his inauguration was to attend a dusk ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to mourn the dead.
That gloomy moment on the eve of Biden’s inauguration, usually the celebration of the American tradition of democratic change of power, was a measure of the country’s loss.
When Biden swore in office, the death toll from COVID-19 in the United States exceeded just over 400,000. Last month, another 100,000 people died.
Former President Donald Trump always seemed to reduce the total. At first he claimed that the virus would disappear spontaneously, and later stuck to the prediction that the United States would die far less than 100,000. After the total exceeded that mark, Trump said he was actually a success story, as he shifted gears again and the magnitude of the loss could have been much worse.
Other than a functional tweet marking the milestones of 100,000 and 200,000 deaths, Trump did not oversee the country’s memorial moments or mourning ceremonies. At the Republican National Convention, he made no mention of suffering and left it to the first lady Melania Trump.
He erroneously predicted that the virus had “turned the corner” at national election rallies, ignoring safety measures such as masks and urging the governor to lift restrictions on public health advice. An audio tape released last fall revealed that Trump told journalist Bob Woodward in March: I still like to play it because I don’t want to panic. “
In contrast, Biden has long used his own personal tragedy to comfort those who mourn. He promised to level the seriousness of the crisis with the American people and repeatedly warned that the country was experiencing a “very dark winter.”
Biden also deliberately set low expectations, especially with regard to vaccination, and knowing that he could win political victories by surpassing them, especially when the country could return to normal. He is well beyond his original promise of 100 million vaccinations in the first 100 days, and some public health professionals will set far more ambitious goals. I’m urging him. The government says it expects to have enough vaccine available to all Americans by the end of July.
Biden’s next Christmas reference to the possibility of returning to normal was made by others in his own administration, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, who frowned across the pandemic-tired country and proposed a summer comeback. It didn’t seem to be more optimistic than I expected.
Jonathan Remia reported from New York.
Source: Associated Press