On the day that the United States passed the 500,000 covid-19 death mark, President Joe Biden called on his countrymen to resist becoming “numb to pain”.
“I ask all Americans to remember those we lost and those we left behind,” said Biden, during a speech Monday night at the White House. Along with Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden participated in a discreet ceremony to pay homage to the victims of covid-19 in the USA.
In almost a year of the pandemic, one of the main problems resulting from the succession of the balance sheets of infected people and deaths is insensitivity to the numbers. The head of state tried to show that each of the lives lost by covid-19 has a deeper meaning. “The people we lost were extraordinary. They span several generations, born in America, immigrated to America. So many of them breathed for the last time alone in America, ”said Biden.
It was a speech less based on numbers, statistics or objectives for the vaccination campaign – 64 million Americans have already received at least one dose of the covid-19 vaccine – and mainly aimed at getting Americans to reflect on the human cost of the pandemic. “As a nation, we cannot accept such a cruel fate. While we have been fighting this pandemic for so long, we have to resist becoming numb to pain, ”he said.
Faithful to what has been his line since he was elected, Biden again left calls for unity among his countrymen, asking them to fight “as one people”. “It is not Democrats or Republicans who are dying from the virus. They are our American countrymen, our neighbors, our friends, our mothers, our fathers, our daughters, husbands, wives, ”said the President.
To show the magnitude of the pandemic in the United States – the hardest hit country in the world – Biden began by stressing that the number of deaths is already higher than the number of American soldiers killed in the two World Wars and the War of the Vietnam together. If the dead were the inhabitants of a city, it would have a population larger than that of Miami.
Upon the event it is difficult to understand the significance of a landmark like this, but few doubt that it will be a chapter in the history books in the future. “In decades, people will speak of this as a terrible event in the history of this country, that so many people have died from an infection of respiratory origin,” the head of the government team to combat covid-19, Anthony, told CNN on Sunday. Fauci.
In addition to the number of deaths – which experts estimate could reach 600,000 in the summer – the covid-19 pandemic also leaves destructive effects on American collective health. Average life expectancy in the U.S. has dropped by more than a year for men (75.1) and almost one for women (80.5) compared to 2019, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The decline was more pronounced for black men, who live on average less than three years, and for Latinos, who lost 2.4 years because of the effects of the pandemic.
With only 4% of the world population, the United States accounts for nearly 20% of all deaths attributed to covid-10 worldwide. Even so, in relative terms, the country registers 1,543 deaths per one million inhabitants, below other nations such as the United Kingdom, Italy or Portugal.