May 12, 2022 - Health

Biden orders flags at half-staff for 1 million COVID deaths

White House flaf half-staff
The U.S. flag flies at half-staff atop the White House in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 13. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff on Thursday to honor the Americans who have died from COVID-19 as the death toll nears 1 million.

What they're saying: "One million empty chairs around the dinner table. Each an irreplaceable loss. Each leaving behind a family, a community, and a Nation forever changed because of this pandemic," Biden said in a statement.

  • "As a Nation, we must not grow numb to such sorrow," he added. "To heal, we must remember. We must remain vigilant against this pandemic and do everything we can to save as many lives as possible."

The big picture: Flags will remain at half-staff at the White House and all federal buildings until sunset on Monday evening.

Worth noting: Different trackers have their own ways of counting the Americans who have died from COVID.

  • According to Johns Hopkins University data, the U.S. has not yet passed the 1 million deaths milestone. The CDC puts the nation's death toll at 995,747 as of Thursday morning.

Go deeper: 1 million COVID deaths: Visualizing the scale of loss suffered in America

Go deeper