The bells of Washington’s National Cathedral will toll 300 times on Tuesday in memory of the 300,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19. Cathedral Dean the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith said that “the climbing death toll from this pandemic seems disturbingly routine.”
The news comes as President Donald Trump‘s Warp Speed vaccine effort saw the first vaccinations given on Monday. Media outlets have found it difficult to explain the success of the program producing vaccinations by the end of the year, just weeks after saying it was impossible.
“I have grown weary of tolling this bell,” he said. “I don’t want to toll this bell anymore. I don’t want to lose any more lives. I don’t want us to think this is normal or that it is just the price we must pay for living in a free society. We have reached the point in America where the death toll from COVID-19 for just one day was the equivalent of 16 fully loaded 737 jets falling from the sky.”Bottom of Form
In September, when the number of Americans who died from the coronavirus pandemic hit 200,000, the National Cathedral tolled the bell 200 times in remembrance of the victims.
“We toll this 12-ton bell for every funeral held at the cathedral,” the church said in a statement. “Funerals mourn the loss, but they also celebrate the lives of our loved ones and point us to the hope of resurrection. This gesture cannot replace the lives lost, but we hope it will help each American mourn the toll of this pandemic.”
According to Johns Hopkins University, the COVID-19 death toll for the United States passed the 300,000 mark on Monday, with approximately 50,000 Americans dying over the span of 27 days. Coronavirus cases currently number more than 16.4 million in the United States. Worldwide, coronavirus-related deaths total more than 1.6 million.
Johns Hopkins also reports that the death rate in the United States, at 1.8%, is also one of the lowest in the developed world with multiple European nations experiencing higher numbers. Health experts credit the Trump administration’s policies of working with the medical community in the sharing of life-saving treatment information and fast-tracking certain treatments along with expanded medical supply availability.
The news comes as shipments of a vaccine developed by Pfizer are being distributed nationwide and the first inoculations are being performed.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice