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23.02.2021 Europe

US marks 500,000 'heartbreaking' deaths from Covid, Biden calls for unity

By RFI
Mark Felix AFP/Archivos
LISTEN FEB 23, 2021
Mark Felix AFP/Archivos

US president Joe Biden called the grim milestone of 500,000 deaths “heartbreaking” in an emotional national TV address on Monday during which he called upon Americans to unite.

“We must end the politics and disinformation that's divided families, communities,” he said. We have to fight this together as one people, as the United States of America.”

The US has the highest death toll in the world and the president appealed to his countrymen to keep up efforts to fight the virus.

“I also ask us to act, to stay vigilant, to stay socially distanced, to mask up, to get vaccinated,” he urged.

Candle tribute
Allmost a year since the first known death from Covid-19 was declared on February 29th in Seattle, President Biden and his wife Jill, along with Vice-President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, stood for a minute's silence outside the White House before 500 candles in memory of the victims.

Earlier, flags were lowered over the White House and at federal buildings across the country as well as US embassies around the world.

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