The death toll from the coronavirus in the United States has exceeded half a million. A condolence ceremony was held at the White House on Monday where President Joe Biden pledged to control the pandemic.

The ceremony was also attended by First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff. Candles were lit in memory of those who died of the coronavirus in the United States and the military band recited the Christian poem “Amazing Grace.” President Biden has ordered that the national flag be hoisted on all federal government buildings across the country for five days to mourn the victims of the global pandemic.

Speaking after the opening session of the ceremony, Biden said, “The situation caused by the global pandemic may seem unbelievable.  We promise you that we will fight the global pandemic,” Biden said. Many of our loved ones no longer exist in this world, but as a nation we must not allow this to happen again, he added.

In April last year, authorities in the US state of Florida confirmed the first death from coronavirus.

Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the country has seen its death toll from the global pandemic fall for the seventh day in a row. According to Johns Hopkins University, half million deaths and more than 281 million cases have been reported in the United States so far. It should be noted that the coronavirus has caused more than 2.47 million deaths worldwide and 20% of deaths were reported in the United States alone.

The US state of California is the hardest hit, with 49,470 deaths reported so far, followed by New York at 46,000 and Texas at 42,000.

The coronavirus vaccination campaign is also underway across the United States and about 13% of the population has received the first dose of the vaccine. On the other hand, due to blizzards and severe cold weather in some states, the pace of vaccination campaign has slowed down. During a video briefing on Monday, Dr. Walensky told reporters that 66,000 cases of various diseases are being reported daily in the United States. He also appealed to the people to wear masks and stay away from society. Dr Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, has warned, “We are still in danger and that people will still have to be careful to return to normal life.”

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