Pentagon insists vaccine rollout a success despite spotty data
Pelosi holds moment of silence as US approaches 500,000 COVID-19 deaths
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (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.
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 Biden 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 Biden, Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff.