Congress holds silence for one million U.S. COVID deaths

STORY: Congressional leaders held a moment of silence outside the Capitol building on Thursday, commemorating one million COVID-19 deaths in the United States.

The event was led by House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was joined by Right Reverend Mariann Edgar Budde.

On Wednesday, the United States reached more than one million COVID-19 deaths, according to a Reuters tally, crossing a once-unthinkable milestone about two years after the first cases upended everyday life.

The loss represents about one death for every 327 Americans, or more than the entire population of San Francisco or Seattle.

Most of those deaths, some 600,000, happened after President Joe Biden took office in January 2021 at the peak of a major wave of the disease.

The precise toll of the pandemic may never be truly known. Some people who died while infected were never tested and are not represented in the data.

Others, while having COVID-19, may have died for another reason such as a cancer, but were still counted.

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