President Joe Biden has ordered the US flag to be hung at half-mast on federal government buildings to mark the death of half a million people in the United States from the coronavirus.
The flag will remain at half-mast for five days in tribute to the victims, his spokesman said.
The US is by far the world leader in the number of deaths. This also applies to the number of infections, which now stands at more than 28 million. The mark of 400,000 American corona deaths was passed over a month ago, and the threshold of 100,000 in late May. In all countries combined, nearly 2.5 million people have died from Covid-19.
Biden has made the fight against the coronavirus one of the spearheads of his policy. “500,000, that’s nearly 70,000 more than all Americans who died in World War II in four years,” he said recently.
Biden gives a speech at the White House about the grim milestone around midnight our time, shadowed by a moment of silence and candles’ lighting. His wife Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, among others, accompany him.
The US vaccination campaign has ramped up significantly since Biden took office a month ago. About 44 million people have now received at least one vaccination, which corresponds to more than 13 percent of the population. Nearly 19 million Americans have been given two doses.