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Congress holds candlelight vigil for 500,000 COVID-19 victims

Congress on Tuesday held a candlelight vigil for the more than 500,000 Americans who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic as daily deaths nearly double while hospitalizations continue to fall. 

Images from the vigil show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi standing alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

Several members of Congress were seen standing behind them on the stairs of the US Capitol.

All of the politicians were seen holding candles as they observed a moment of silence to honor the 502,594 Americans who died from COVID-19 since the pandemic hit the US last year. 

On Tuesday, the daily death toll climbed higher than the day before when the U.S. recorded an additional 2,196 fatalities, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The increase in deaths could be attributed to delays in reporting in Texas due to the recent storm. The number of new daily cases rose slightly to 67,879.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations have continued to decrease, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. On Tuesday, the US reported 55,058 hospitalizations. However, the COVID Tracking Project noted that hospitalizations are falling at a slower pace than in recent days.  

Congress is currently working on a $1.9trillion COVID-19 economic relief plan, which is being proposed by a thin Democratic majority in the House and Senate.

Congress on Tuesday held a candlelight vigil for the more than 500,000 Americans who lost their during the COVID-19 pandemic as daily deaths nearly double while hospitalizations continue to fall

Images from the vigil show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (pictured) standing alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Images from the vigil show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (pictured) standing alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Several members of Congress were seen standing behind them on the stairs of the US Capitol

Several members of Congress were seen standing behind them on the stairs of the US Capitol

All of the politicians were seen holding candles as they observed a moment of silence to honor the 502,594 Americans who died from COVID-19 since the pandemic hit the US last year

All of the politicians were seen holding candles as they observed a moment of silence to honor the 502,594 Americans who died from COVID-19 since the pandemic hit the US last year

Congress is currently working on a $1.9trillion COVID-19 economic relief plan, which is being proposed by a thin Democratic majority in the House and Senate

Congress is currently working on a $1.9trillion COVID-19 economic relief plan, which is being proposed by a thin Democratic majority in the House and Senate

Tuesday’s vigil came just a day after President Joe Biden addressed the ‘grim, heartbreaking milestone’ of pandemic deaths in the White House Cross Hall.

‘We often hear people described as ordinary Americans. There’s no such thing,’ he said Monday evening. ‘There’s nothing ordinary about them. The people we lost were extraordinary.’

 ‘Just like that,’ he added, ‘so many of them took their last breath alone.’

The COVID-19 death total in the United States had just crossed 400,000 when Biden took the oath of office. An additional 100,000 have died in the past month. 

The death toll from the pandemic climbed a bit higher on Tuesday when the US recorded an additional 2,196 deaths, nearly double that reported on Monday, when the US recorded 1,235 new deaths. 

Meanwhile, hospitalizations have continued to decrease, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. 

Hospitalizations have declined drastically since last month when the US saw several days in which hospitalizations reached more than 130,000.  

On Tuesday, the US reported 55,058 hospitalizations. However, the COVID Tracking Project noted that hospitalizations are falling at a slower pace than in recent days.

The death toll from the pandemic climbed a bit higher on Tuesday when the US recorded an additional 2,196 deaths, nearly double that reported on Monday, when the US recorded 1,235 new deaths. Linda Flowers visits her father's grave, Bishop James N. Flowers, who passed away from Covid-19 in April 2020, at a cemetery in Hyattsville, Maryland, on Tuesday

The death toll from the pandemic climbed a bit higher on Tuesday when the US recorded an additional 2,196 deaths, nearly double that reported on Monday, when the US recorded 1,235 new deaths. Linda Flowers visits her father’s grave, Bishop James N. Flowers, who passed away from Covid-19 in April 2020, at a cemetery in Hyattsville, Maryland, on Tuesday 

Meanwhile, hospitalizations have continued to decrease, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. Bryanna Danas, 14, pays her respects at the burial site of her father, Gregory Blanks, 50, who died from complications from the coronavirus disease

Meanwhile, hospitalizations have continued to decrease, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. Bryanna Danas, 14, pays her respects at the burial site of her father, Gregory Blanks, 50, who died from complications from the coronavirus disease

Hospitalizations have declined drastically since last month when the US saw several days in which hospitalizations reached more than 130,000. On Tuesday, the US reported 55,058 hospitalizations

Hospitalizations have declined drastically since last month when the US saw several days in which hospitalizations reached more than 130,000. On Tuesday, the US reported 55,058 hospitalizations

However, the COVID Tracking Project noted that hospitalizations are falling at a slower pace than in recent days

However, the COVID Tracking Project noted that hospitalizations are falling at a slower pace than in recent days 

Infections have also stayed on a steady decline with 67,879 new cases reported on Tuesday. 

With the constant decline in cases, some states have started preparing the reopening of businesses like movie theaters.

In New York City, Gov Andrew Cuomo said movie theaters can open their doors again at limited capacity starting March 5. 

Movie theaters can only operate at 25 per cent capacity, with no more than 50 people per screening, Cuomo said Monday. 

In the coming days, indoor dining in New York is expected to increase to 35 per cent capacity.  

As of Tuesday afternoon, 13.3 per cent of Americans have had one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccines. More than 64 million doses have been administered, according to Bloomberg data. 

More than 28.2 million people in the US have been infected with the virus since it hit the US last year

More than 28.2 million people in the US have been infected with the virus since it hit the US last year 

But back-to-back winter storms threw a wrench in the rollout. From February 10 to 18, the US was giving an average of 1.6 or 1.7 million shots a day. By Monday, that figure was down to 1.4 million doses a day. 

Keeping pace in the vaccine race is more critical than ever as fast-spreading variants threaten to reverse the promising trends in US coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths, officials like Dr Anthony Fauci and CDC director Rochelle Walensky have warned in recent weeks.  

What’s more, limited supply of the two approved COVID-19 vaccines hampered the pace of vaccinations even before last week’s snow, ice, and power outages hit. 

Vaccine makers told Congress on Tuesday that they will considerably boost the US supply in the coming weeks as well. 

Biden has said that every American who wants a vaccine will be able to get one by the end of July. But demand continues to outpace limited supplies distributed by the US government.

Pfizer and Moderna will deliver at least another 135 million doses of coronavirus vaccines over the next five weeks. 

The two companies have considerably ramped up their production of vaccine doses and found solutions to previous manufacturing issues that caused bottlenecks in production.  

And Johnson & Johnson said it is ready to ship four million doses of its vaccine upon emergency FDA authorization – which could come as soon as Friday – and could deliver 20 million doses by the end of next month. 


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