President Biden has ordered the flags lowered to half the staff to commemorate the 500,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 and will have a national moment of silence.
The text of Biden's proclamation as transmitted by the White House to PolitcusUSA:
As of this week, more than 500,000 Americans have died from the virus in the dark winter of the COVID-19 pandemic. That's more Americans who died from this pandemic in a single year than in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined. On this solemn occasion, we ponder their loss and the loved ones they left behind. We as a nation need to remember them so that we can begin to heal as a nation, unite and find a purpose to defeat this pandemic.
In her memory, the First Lady and I will be accompanied by the Vice President and Second Gentleman for a moment of silence in the White House tonight. I ask all Americans to join us as we remember the more than 500,000 of our fellow Americans who lost to COVID-19 and watch a moment of silence as the sun sets. I also hereby command, by the authority conferred on me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, that the flag of the United States be hoisted on half-staff in the White House and on all public buildings and properties, on all military posts and naval stations as well as on all federal government naval vessels in the District of Columbia and in the United States and their territories and possessions by sundown on February 26, 2021. I also direct that the flag be hoisted halfway for the same period in all embassies, legations , Consular offices, and other United States facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval ships and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I laid my hand on it this February twenty-second, in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty-five and the independence of the United States of America, two hundred and forty-five.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
Half a million deaths are a major milestone in the nation's history and are preventable. With competent and appropriate leadership, hundreds of thousands of Americans would not have lost their lives. Americans always remember the victims of September 11th, but we must never forget the victims who continue to lose their lives every day to the coronavirus pandemic.
For more discussions on this story, join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC groups.
Follow and like PoliticusUSA on Facebook
Mr. Easley is the Founder / Senior Editor, White House Press Pool, and a Congressional Correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a bachelor's degree in political science. His thesis focused on public order with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and professional memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Political Science Association