US President Joe Biden, during his first prime time address to Americans, confronted grief and loss on the first anniversary of the Covid-19 shutdowns in the US and said that total deaths in the country is “more deaths than in World War One, World War Two, the Vietnam War, and 9/11 combined.”
“A year ago we were hit with a virus that was met with silence and spread unchecked, denials for days, weeks, then months. That led to more deaths, more infections, more stress, and more loneliness,” Biden said in a nationally televised address.
“Photos and videos from 2019 feel like they were taken in another era. The last vacation. The last birthday with friends. The last holiday with extended family. While it was different for everyone, we all lost something. A collective suffering. A collective sacrifice,” he added.
The President said that the year 2020 was filled with the loss of life and the loss of living for all of us. But in the loss “we saw how much there was to gain in appreciation, respect and gratitude, finding light in the darkness is a very American thing to do.”
During World War II, one of our country’s slogans was “Together, we can do it.” And companies took it to heart.
We need that same kind of wartime effort today.
That’s why we brought together Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and the federal government to defeat COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/wz2vxn6Bj1
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 11, 2021
“As of now, the total deaths in America (from COVID-19 are at) 527,726 — that’s more deaths than World War I, World War II, The Vietnam war and 9/11 combined. There were husbands, wives, sons, daughters, grandparents, friends, neighbours — young and old — they leave behind young ones unable to grieve and heal,” he said.
Biden also extended his condolences to the kins of people who died of non-COVID causes as well. “I am also thinking about everyone else who lost this past year to natural causes and other diseases. They too, died alone. They too, leave behind loved ones,” the President expressed.
He condemned those who have used the pandemic as an excuse for hate to divide the country at a time when healing is needed.
“Too often, we’ve turned against one another, a mask the easiest thing to do to save lives,” he said. “Sometimes it divides us, states pitted against one another. Instead of working with each other.” According to CNN, Biden said his administration is on track to beat his promise to deliver 100 million Covid-19 vaccination shots into the arms of Americans by day 60 — 40 days before his campaign promise.
“When I came into office, you may recall I set a goal, and many of you said it was way over the top,” he said. “I said I intended to get 100 million shots in people’s arms in my first 100 days in office.”
“Tonight, I can say we’re not only going to meet that goal we are gonna beat that goal,” Biden continued.
“We are actually on track to meet the goal of 100 million in arms on my 60th day in office.”
He also said that Americans are owed nothing but the truth about when life will get back to normal.
“My fellow Americans, you are owed nothing less than the truth,” the President continued. “And for all of you asking about when things will get back to normal, here is the truth. The only way to get our lives back, to get our economy back on track, is to beat the virus.”
Biden continued, “But this is one of the most complex operations we’ve ever undertaken as a nation in a long time. That’s why I’m putting every power I have as President of the United States to put us on a war footing to get the job done.”