National Cathedral tolls bell for 900,000 lives claimed by COVID-19 in U.S.
National Cathedral tolls bell for 900,000 lives claimed by COVID-19 in U.S.

The Washington National Cathedral paid tribute on Monday evening to the 900,000 lives claimed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

The cathedral in Washington, D.C. tolled its funeral bell 900 times, once for every 1,000 people who had died of the coronavirus.

The mourning, also livestreamed on social media, took nearly 90 minutes.

"I remember when this particular sad tradition began in 2020, when 50,000 and 100,000 seemed horrible and unthinkable," tweeted Susan B. Glasser, a staff writer at The New Yorker and former editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine. "Here we are. Soon, no doubt, one million."

COVID-19 deaths in the United States surpassed 900,000 days ago, roughly two years after the country reported its first fatality.

"We got the medical science right. We failed on the social science. We failed on how to help people get vaccinated, to combat disinformation, to not politicize this," Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, has reportedly said. "Those are the places where we have failed as America."

U.S. President Joe Biden has called the loss of lives "another tragic milestone," while continuing to urge Americans to be vaccinated. "Get vaccinated, get your kids vaccinated, and get your booster shot if you are eligible," Biden said in a statement. "It's free, easy, and effective -- and it can save your life, and the lives of those you love."

A growing number of states are moving to ease COVID-19 restrictions, as daily new cases are on the decline nationwide, but the seven-day moving average of added deaths is still well over 2,000.

The United States has reported nearly 77 million COVID-19 infections and 905,000 deaths as of Monday evening, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. 

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