On Monday, the U.S. death toll from Covid-19 surpassed the staggering milestone of 500,000. President Biden held a sunset moment of silence and a candle-lighting ceremony at the White House where he ordered U.S. flags to be lowered at federal buildings for five days. Biden stated that "as a nation, we cannot accept such a cruel fate. We have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow". The president added that "today I ask all Americans to remember. Remember those we lost and remember those we left behind".
Data showed that the U.S. surpassed the grim half-million landmark yesterday and despite positive trends in both vaccinations and case counts, a University of Washington model suggests the death toll will climb to 589,000 by early June. 500,000 deaths is a difficult figure to comprehend but it is equivalent to the number of Americans killed in three major wars.
According to data from the Department of Veteran's Affairs, approximately 405,000 Americans died in the Second World War while 36,000 lost their lives in the Korean War. The Vietnam War resulted in another 58,000 deaths with the collective toll of all three conflicts coming in at around half a million. As of February 23, 2021, the Johns Hopkins University lists 500,310 Americans as having died from Covid-19. If a minute of silence was held for every death during the pandemic, it would take nearly a year - 347 days - to honor all the people the U.S. has lost.