House

Pelosi, Schumer, McCarthy to hold moment of silence for 800K American COVID-19 deaths

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is seen during a photo op with Roberto Fico, President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Republic of Italy, prior to a meeting on Wednesday, November 3, 2021.
Greg Nash

Congressional leaders plan to hold a moment of silence outside the Capitol on Tuesday to honor the more than 800,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will attend the moment of silence on the East Front Steps of the Capitol building, according to a statement from Pelosi’s office late Monday.

Other bipartisan members of the House and Senate will be in attendance, according to Pelosi’s office, but no others were named. The event is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. 

Several House Republicans have been fined thousands of dollars for refusing to wear masks in the House chamber. Pelosi and McCarthy have also traded insults on the matter, with the Speaker calling the California Republican a “moron” for his opposition to face coverings in the chamber. McCarthy in turn knocked Pelosi by suggesting that she didn’t “know the facts or the science” after the Capitol physician announced — and Pelosi hailed — a decision to once again impose a mask mandate over the summer in an effort to mitigate spread of the virus.

The U.S. surpassed 800,000 COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, according to a tally by Reuters, marking a grim milestone 21 months after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic.

More than 450,000 people have died in the U.S. after contracting COVID-19 this year alone, which is 57 percent of all coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic started, according to Reuters.

The 2021 COVID-19 death toll surpassed the number of fatalities in 2020 in November. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 385,000 coronavirus-related deaths were reported last year.

Rep. Ron Wright (R-Texas) died in February of this year after testing positive for COVID-19 the month prior. He was 67 years old. The congressman was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2019.

More than 239.2 million individuals in the U.S. have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which accounts for 72.1 percent of the total U.S. population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

More than 202.2 million individuals in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC, which translates to 60.9 percent of the total population in the U.S.

Pelosi held a moment of silence on the House floor in February when the U.S. was approaching 500,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

Tags Charles Schumer Kevin McCarthy Nancy Pelosi Ron Wright

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