President Biden has ordered U.S. flags flown at half-staff, as the White House marked 1 million deaths from COVID-19 since the first cases were detected just over two years ago.
President Joe Biden: “Today we mark a tragic milestone here in the United States: 1 million COVID deaths, 1 million empty chairs around the family dinner table, each irreplaceable, irreplaceable losses.”
Biden spoke from a virtual White House summit on the pandemic, where he called again on Congress to pass funding to combat COVID-19 at home and around the globe. Biden initially requested $22 billion from Congress in March — a figure rejected by public health advocates as too small. The request is now for $10 billion and remains stalled on Capitol Hill.
Meanwhile, U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise. On Thursday, states reported over 115,000 new cases — and that’s likely a significant undercount due to an increase in home testing.