With the United States imminently approaching the once-unfathomable mark of 500,000 coronavirus-related deaths, President Biden will recognize the grim milestone with a candle-lighting ceremony at the White House.
The U.S. has 499,309 virus-related deaths as of early Monday afternoon, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker, which would almost certainly put the country over the half-million mark by day’s end.
A White House official said Biden will hold the candle-lighting ceremony and give remarks at about sundown Monday if the 500,000 mark is reached by then, CNN reported.
First lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff will also attend, CNN reported.
The U.S. leads the world in both overall coronavirus cases and related deaths. As of Monday, the U.S. had roughly 28.1 million cases — far outpacing second-place India’s total of 11 million — and its death toll is more than twice Brazil’s 246,000 mark, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.