Biden to mark 500,000 lives lost with ceremony


WASHINGTON __ President Joe Biden will mark the U.S. crossing 500,000 lives lost from COVID-19 with a moment of silence and candle lighting ceremony at the White House.

The nation is expected to pass the grim milestone on Monday, just over a year after the first confirmed U.S. fatality due to the novel coronavirus.

The White House said Biden will deliver remarks at sunset to honor those who lost their lives. He will be joined by first lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff. They will participate in the moment of silence and lighting ceremony.

Biden has made a point of recognizing the lives lost from the virus. His first event upon arriving in Washington for his inauguration a month ago was to deliver remarks at a COVID-19 memorial ceremony.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

Britain speeds up vaccination plan; all adults to get 1st jab by July 31

What’s safe after a COVID-19 vaccination? Don’t take the masks off yet, scientists say

— Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsom of California are embroiled in political woes from the pandemic

— Airlines plan to ask passengers for contact-tracing details

— With no crowds during a coronavirus lockdown, the Louvre in Paris is using the down time to refurbish

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Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand will remove remaining coronavirus restrictions from Auckland on Monday after an outbreak discovered in the largest city fades away.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said more than 72,000 tests had found no evidence the virus was spreading in the community.

Auckland was placed into a three-day lockdown this month after a mother, father and daughter tested positive. Another five contacts later tested positive. After the lockdown ended, Auckland continued to have restrictions…



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