A group of Democratic senators introduced a resolution on Wednesday to designate the first Monday of March as “COVID–19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day."
The resolution was introduced by Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats confront 'Rubik's cube on steroids' The Trojan Horse of protectionism Federal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review MORE (Mass.), Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Six Democrats blast Energy Department's uranium reserve pitch Facebook draws lawmaker scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens MORE (Mass.) and Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichOvernight Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Schneider Electric — Deadly Ida floodwaters grip southeast US David Sirota: Seven Democrats who voted against fracking ban trying to secure future elections Deadly extreme heat has arrived: here's how policymakers can save lives MORE (N.M.) and calls for memorializing those lost in the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation would also recognize the suffering of those who recovered from the virus but continue to experience side effects.
“Our hearts hurt from everything and everyone that this pandemic has stolen from us, and that’s why I’m introducing this resolution with Senators Markey and Heinrich — to remember the family, friends, and neighbors we loved and those who continue to be affected by this unprecedented pandemic,” Warren said in a press release.
The resolution received the support of advocacy group Marked By COVID, which aims to help those grieving loved ones lost in the pandemic as well as advance policies to address the virus. On March 1 of this year, the group organized more than a hundred COVID-19 memorial events around the U.S.
The day before his inauguration in January, President BidenJoe BidenHouse clears bill to provide veterans with cost-of-living adjustment On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default To reduce poverty, stop burdening the poor: What Joe Manchin gets wrong about the child tax credit MORE held a COVID-19 memorial service for what was at the time the more than 500,000 people in the U.S. who have died after succumbing to the coronavirus.
The bill comes as the U.S. continues to grapple with a surge of COVID-19 infections due to the highly contagious delta variant. The rise in infections has affected states with low vaccination rates, raising the number of hospitalizations in the effected areas.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 611,000 people have died in the U.S. due to COVID-19 as of Wednesday afternoon.
Markey said, "We owe these families the honor and recognition they deserve, and by marking COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day, we will annually remind ourselves of the deadly cost of this pandemic while reaffirming our commitment to getting through this crisis together."
“We need this official memorial day to honor the memory of those we’ve lost, acknowledge the continuing grief felt by their loved ones, and recognize those still coping with the long-term effects of the virus," Heinrich said.