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Biden to order flags to half staff to mark 500K virus deaths

Biden to order flags to half staff to mark 500K virus deaths
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President BidenJoe BidenBaltimore police chief calls for more 'boots on the ground' to handle crime wave Biden to deliver remarks at Sen. John Warner's funeral Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump MORE on Monday will order flags on federal land be lowered to half-staff for the next five days to mark the United States surpassing 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden will also deliver remarks at a candle-lighting ceremony later Monday and hold a moment of silence.

"Tonight’s events, including the president’s remarks, will highlight the magnitude of loss this milestone marks for the American people and so many families across the country," White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBaltimore police chief calls for more 'boots on the ground' to handle crime wave White House draws ire of progressives amid voting rights defeat White House admits July 4 vaccine marker will be missed MORE said at a briefing. "He will also speak to the power of the American people to turn the tide on this pandemic by working together, following public health guidelines and getting vaccinated as soon as they are eligible."

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Psaki added that the remarks would not focus on the administration's pandemic response, but instead are intended to "have a human moment and a moment to remember the people who we've lost over the last year."

The United States is expected to surpass 500,000 deaths from COVID-19, roughly one year after the country confirmed its first deaths from the virus. The country has reported more than 499,000 deaths from the virus, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker, more than any country in the world.

Biden will be joined later Monday by Vice President Harris, first lady Jill BidenJill BidenBiden to deliver remarks at Sen. John Warner's funeral Brad Paisley, Jill Biden urge people in Tennessee to get vaccinated White House admits July 4 vaccine marker will be missed MORE and second gentleman Doug EmhoffDoug EmhoffThe Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters Harris highlights COVID-19 vaccination safety, efficacy in SC event to kick off tour MORE.

Monday's vigil will mark the second such event Biden has held since taking office to commemorate those who died from the pandemic. The day before his inauguration, Biden held a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial to honor those died from COVID-19.