‘To heal, we must remember’: Biden holds memorial for 400,000 US Covid victims – as it happened
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The US coronavirus death toll surpassed 400,000, representing the highest death toll of any country in the world.
Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and their spouses held a service at the Lincoln Memorial to honor the lives lost in the pandemic. The Washington National Cathedral bell tolled 400 times for the 400,000 dead, and 400 lights were lit around the reflecting pool at the US Capitol, in a somber remembrance. It was the first national event of remembrance held by the national leaders since the pandemic first hit.
Donald Trump shared his farewell address to the nation. The president, who is leaving Washington before Biden’s inauguration tomorrow, wished the new administration success but did not utter the name of his successor.
Mike Pence confirmed he will not attend the president’s farewell event tomorrow. The vice-president’s office released his schedule for tomorrow, and it includes only one event: the inauguration of Biden and Harris.
Mitch McConnell acknowledged the violent mob that attacked the Capitol earlier this month was “provoked by the president”. The Senate Republican leader said in a floor speech this afternoon, “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.”
Two national guard troops were removed from inauguration duty due to ties to far-right militia groups, according to the AP. The FBI has been vetting the thousands of national guard troops sent to provide security for Biden’s inauguration.
Biden and Harris will be inaugurated tomorrow. Here’s a night-time view from the Washington Monument, courtesy of the National Park Service: