As the U.S. coronavirus death toll crossed the grim 100,000 milestone, in what seems like an absence of empathic national leadership, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden assumes the role of consoler-in-chief.
Biden on Wednesday, when the coronavirus death toll passed 100,000, delivered a short address, expressing heartfelt condolences to grieving families across America who have lost family, friends, and loved ones.
According to the John Hopkins University heat map, COVID-19 has been linked to over 353,000 fatalities and over 5.6 million cases around the world.
The U.S. on Wednesday evening had 100,047 deaths, the John Hopkins count showed. This puts the United States at the top of the coronavirus death count—more than any other country in the world.
With businesses reopening across the country and the focus from the White House seeming to be on the reopening the country, Biden addressed the grief and uncertainty being felt across the nation, telling Americans, “To all of you hurting so badly, I’m so sorry for your loss. I know there’s nothing I or anyone else can to say or do to dull the sharpness of the pain you feel right now, but I can promise you from experience, the day will come when the memory of your loved one will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes. My prayer for all of you is that day will come sooner rather than later. But I promise you it will come and when it does, you know you can make it.”
The former vice president has had his share of tragedy and understands grief very well, having lost his wife Neilia Hunter and their 13-month-old daughter Naomi to a car accident in 1972, and son, Beau Biden to brain cancer in 2015.
Biden left families with the assurance that he is praying for them and grieving with them. “God bless each and every one of you and the blessed memory of the one you lost. This nation grieves with you. Take some solace with the fact that we all grieve with you.”
With pressure from the White House to reopen businesses around the country to rescue the flailing economy, many states have begun opening businesses, albeit, with health guidelines and regulations to minimize infections. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that we are still in the midst of a pandemic.
“Right now, we’re not in the second wave. We’re right in the middle of the first wave globally,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization’s executive director.
“We’re still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up,” Ryan said. He was referring to South America, South Asia, and other parts of the world, which the virus has taken hold and is spreading rapidly.
Here in the U.S. workers, for the most part, are cautious about going back to business as usual, but with the rising unemployment, many do not have a choice. Consumers are also cautiously approaching the newly reopened businesses.