“As a nation, we can’t accept such a cruel fate. We’ve been fighting this pandemic for so long. We have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow,” the President said. “We have to resist viewing each life as a statistic or a blur or on the news. We must do so to honor the dead, but equally important care for the living, those they left behind.”
Biden also participated in a moment of silence, standing by 500 lighted candles outside the White House, joined by first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff.
A flag atop the White House and flags at the US Capitol were lowered to half-staff Monday afternoon.
The pandemic is far from over as more than 1,200 American deaths were reported Monday.
But Americans can steer its course — and help prevent many more families from suffering inconsolable grief.
Major challenges ahead
“If that takes over, the numbers are going to start to spiral up again. There’s no end to what the death toll will look like unless we can vaccinate ahead of it.”
Where we stand with vaccinations
But the US will likely be caught up by the middle of this week, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“Obviously it is a setback because you’d like to see the steady flow of vaccine getting out there to get into people’s arms, but we can play pretty good catch-up,” Fauci told NBC on Sunday.
Both vaccines on the US market — developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — require two doses, the second of which are intended to be administered 21 days and 28 days after the first, respectively.
Fauci told CNN Sunday the US is currently sticking with the vaccine schedule that is backed up by data from clinical trials.
“The science points directly towards continuing with what we know … from the clinical trial,” he said.
Good news (for now) on cases and hospitalizations
Nationwide, the rates of new Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are declining.
The number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 has fallen for the 40th day in a row, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
Daily deaths have declined 24% this…