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Biden to mark upcoming 500,000 US Covid-19 deaths with candle lighting ceremony Monday

With the US approaching...

Posted: Feb 22, 2021 9:37 AM

With the US approaching 500,000 Covid-19 deaths, President Joe Biden will mark the grim milestone Monday with a candle lighting ceremony and a moment of silence, the White House said Sunday.

The event, which is set for 6:15 p.m. ET at the White House, will also feature first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff. Biden will deliver remarks on the lives lost ahead of the ceremony.

The ceremony underscores the empathetic message Biden has sought to bring to the US coronavirus response since taking office last month -- a departure from his predecessor. On Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration was working on plans so the President could use his "own voice and platform to take a moment to remember the people whose lives have been lost, the families who are still suffering."

One day before taking office, Biden, Harris and their spouses held a somber ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the 400,000 lives lost to Covid-19 in the US at the time.

"To heal we must remember," Biden said at the January event. Harris also spoke briefly at the memorial, noting that "for many months, we have grieved by ourselves. Tonight, we grieve and begin healing together."

Their message stands in contrast with former President Donald Trump, who frequently defended his administration's response to the pandemic but rarely expressed grief for the victims. In September, Trump told Axios on HBO that the US Covid-19 death toll, "is what it is."

"They are dying. That's true. And you -- it is what it is," Trump said at the time. "But that doesn't mean we aren't doing everything we can. It's under control as much as you can control it."

While coronavirus cases are trending down and vaccinations are ticking up, the US is struggling to get a handle on the threat posed by new variants. Experts -- both inside and outside the White House -- are still far from certain that America is finally clawing its way out of the pandemic, with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist, telling CNN Sunday that it's "possible" Americans will still need to wear masks in 2022 to protect against the coronavirus, even as the US may reach "a significant degree of normality" by the end of this year.

"This is a race to get the vaccine out there broadly enough and fast enough that it eliminates the chance of spread of even more strains," said Dr. Bala Hota, an infectious disease specialist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. "We're not out of the woods yet."

This story has been updated with additional information Sunday.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 657037

Reported Deaths: 12450
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion901321624
Lake48105871
Allen35552632
Hamilton31839393
St. Joseph29538510
Elkhart25261412
Vanderburgh21115377
Tippecanoe19765197
Johnson16242352
Porter15838267
Hendricks15723296
Clark11843179
Madison11672314
Vigo11503228
Monroe10248158
Delaware9788178
LaPorte9720194
Howard9017194
Kosciusko8514107
Bartholomew7373147
Warrick7369146
Hancock7362128
Floyd7139164
Wayne6586188
Grant6395157
Morgan6040124
Boone603388
Dubois5868111
Dearborn540266
Henry539492
Marshall5390104
Cass537199
Noble506775
Jackson462063
Shelby458490
Lawrence4154111
Gibson399681
Harrison395160
Clinton392353
DeKalb382078
Montgomery381583
Knox354484
Miami354063
Whitley346235
Huntington338176
Steuben335955
Wabash328775
Putnam325959
Ripley325161
Adams320249
Jasper312943
White295351
Jefferson292770
Daviess284296
Fayette270255
Decatur269388
Greene259978
Posey259731
Wells255374
Scott248446
LaGrange240170
Clay238944
Randolph225076
Spencer215830
Jennings213544
Washington207727
Sullivan202038
Fountain200341
Starke185950
Owen181652
Jay177328
Fulton176437
Carroll175618
Perry172435
Orange170450
Rush163922
Franklin158335
Vermillion158040
Tipton145441
Parke137915
Pike127232
Blackford120027
Pulaski105643
Newton96431
Brown94639
Benton91113
Crawford90113
Martin80114
Switzerland7507
Warren74612
Union66810
Ohio52711
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