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Pelosi holds moment of silence as US approaches 500,000 COVID-19 deaths

Pelosi holds moment of silence as US approaches 500,000 COVID-19 deaths
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP increasingly balks at calling Jan. 6 an insurrection Overnight Energy: Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West | White House leads opposition to raising gas tax | Biden taps ex-New Mexico lawmaker for USDA post Trump against boycotting Beijing Olympics in 2022 MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday held a moment of silence on the House floor to commemorate the nearly 500,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.

“The chair asks all members in the chamber as well as members and staff throughout the Capitol to rise for a moment of silence in remembrance of more than 500,000 Americans who have passed away from the COVID-19 virus,” Pelosi said on the House floor.

The moment of silence comes in the same week the House is expected to take up a sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

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According to a Johns Hopkins University database, the U.S. is less than 1,000 deaths away from reaching the grim milestone of half a million fatalities a little more than one year after the first COVID-19 death was reported in the United States.

While the number of deaths since the start of the pandemic is staggering, the transmission rate has been falling and efforts are being made to ramp up accessibility for the vaccine nationwide.

President BidenJoe Biden 64 percent of Iowans say 'time for someone else' to hold Grassley's Senate seat: poll Philadelphia shooting leaves 2 dead, injures toddler Ron Johnson booed at Juneteenth celebration in Wisconsin MORE is also expected to hold a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the pandemic during a candle lighting ceremony on Monday evening alongside first lady Jill BidenJill BidenBidens announce death of their German shepherd, Champ Ex-Trump doctor turned GOP lawmaker wants Biden to take cognitive test Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE, Vice President Harris 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.