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tv   President Biden Delivers Remarks Holds Moment of Silence Marking 500000...  CSPAN  February 23, 2021 1:37am-1:54am EST

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attorney general continues tuesday with outside witnesses, including wade henderson from the leadership conference on civil and human rights and are tired of judge ken starr. watch starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern time on c-span.org. >> here is our live coverage tuesday. on c-span at 10:00 a.m. eastern, the senate confirmation hearing for xavier becerra, health and human services to terror nominee. on c-span2, the c-span senate vote on tom vilsack and debate on linda thomas-greenfield's nomination as united nations ambassador. on c-span3 at 10:00 a.m., jerome powell with the semiannual monetary policy report to congress. on c-span.org at 9:30 am, the confirmation hearing for debra haaland, interior secretary nominee. also want c-span.org at 10:00 a.m., a joint oversight hearing
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to investigate the security failures that led to the capital breach on january 6. watch live coverage on c-span, c-span2, c-span3, and c-span.org, or listen on the c-span radio app. >> earlier today, president biden spoke about the u.s. surpassing 500,000 deaths due to the coronavirus pandemic. he noted that the death toll surpasses u.s. deaths in world war i, world war ii, and the vietnam war combined.
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pres. biden: each day i receive a small card in my pocket. i carry it with my schedule. it shows the number of americans who have been affected or have died from covid-19. today, we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone. 500,071 dead. that's more americans have died this year in the pandemic then those in world war i, world war ii, and the vietnam war combined, that is more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on earth. as we acknowledge the scale of this mass death in america, we remember each person in the life they lived. they are people we knew. they are people we feel like we knew. read the obituaries and remember the son who called his mom every night to check in, the father's daughter who lit up his world, the best friend who was always
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there, the nurse and nurses, the nurse who made her patients want to live. i was just in kalamazoo, michigan at the pfizer vaccine manufacturing facility. there, i met a man when i walked in whose father-in-law was dying of the virus. he was sad. i asked if i could call his father-in-law. he said his father-in-law was too sick to speak. but then he said, but could i pray for him? could i pray for him? we all know someone, fellow americans who live lives of struggle, who find purpose and hope. who talk late into the night about their dreams. who wore the uniform born to
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serve, who loved, played and always offered a hand. we often hear of people described as ordinary americans. there is no such thing. there's nothing ordinary about them. the people we lost were extraordinary. they span generations. born in america, immigrated to america. just like that, so many of them took their final breath alone in america. as a nation, we cannot accept such a cruel fate. while we have been fighting this pandemic for so long, we have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow. we have to resist viewing each life as a statistic or a blur, or on the news. we must honor the dead but care for the living and those left behind. further loved ones -- for the loved ones left her behind.
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i know all too well. i know what it's like to be there does to not be there when it happens. -- i know what it's like to not be there when it happens. i know what it's there to be like when it happens, they look in your eyes and slip away. that black hole in your chest, you feel like you are being sucked into a. the survivor's remorse, the anger. the questions of faith in your soul. for some of you, it's been a year, a month, a week, a day, even an hour. i know when you stare at that empty chair around the kitchen table, it brings it all back, no matter how long ago it happened, as if it just happened that moment you look at the empty chair. the birthdays, anniversaries, the holidays without them. and the everyday things, the small things, the tiny things
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that you missed the most, that sent when you -- scent when you open the closet, that park you use to go stroll in, the movie theater where you met, the morning coffee you shared together. the band and his smile -- bend in his smile, the perfect pitch to her left. i received a letter from a daughter whose father died of covid-19 on easter sunday of last year. she and her children, his grandchildren, in their lent the season, a season of reflection and renewal, with heavy hearts. unable to properly mourn, she asked me in the letter, what was lost among so many others? that's what's been so cruel. so many of the rituals that help us cope, that help us honor
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those we loved, have not been available to us. the final rights with families gathered around. proper home-going showered with stories and love. tribal leaders passing out the final traditions of sacred cultures on sacred lands. as a nation, we cannot and we must not let this go on. that's why the day before my inauguration, at the covid-19 memorial at the reflecting pool in the national mall, i said, to heal, to heal, we must remember. i know it's hard. i remember. but you have to remember, that's how we heal.
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for those who have lost loved ones, this is what i know, they are never truly gone. there will always be part of your heart. i know this as well. this seems unbelievable but i promise you, the day will come when the memory of the loved one you lost will bring a smile to your lips, a tear -- before a tear to your eye. it will come, i promise you. my prayers for you is that they will come sooner rather than later. and that's when you know you are going to be ok. you are going to be ok. and for me, a way through sorrow and grief is define purpose. is he or she proud of mina? is this what they -- me now?
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is this what they want me to do? i know that's how i feel. and we can find purpose, purpose worthy of the lives they lived more than the country we loved. today, i ask all americans to remember, remember those who lost and those we've left behind. but as you remember, as we all remember, i also ask us to act, to remain vigilant, to stay socially distanced, to mask up, get vaccinated when it's your turn. we must end the politics, misinformation to divided families. it's cost too many lives are ready. it's not democrats and republicans who are dying from the virus, it's our fellow americans, our neighbors, our
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friends, our mothers, our fathers, our sons, our daughters, husbands, wives. we have to fight this together as one people, as the united states of america. that's the only way we are going to beat this virus, i promise you. the only way to spare more pain, more loss is no stones, no longer a marker of national mourning -- these milestones, i should say. that this not be a story of how far we fell, but of how far we climbed back up. we can do this. in this year, in a profound loss, we have seen profound courage from all of you on the front lines. i know the stress, the trauma, the grief you carry, but you give us hope, you keep us going when you remind us that we do
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take care of our own, that we leave nobody behind. and that while we've been humbled, we have never given up. we are america. we can and will do this. in just a few minutes, jill and i, kamala and doug will hold a moment of silence here in the white house, the people's house. we ask you to join us to remember so we can heal, to find purpose in the work ahead, to show that there is light in the darkness. this nation will smile again. this nation will know sunny days again. this nation will know joy again. and as we do, we will remember each person we've lost, the lives they lived, the loved ones
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they left behind. we will get through this, i promise you, but my heart aches for those of you who are going through it right now. may god bless you all, particularly those who have lost someone. god bless you.
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[horn playing "amazing grace"] ♪ ♪
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>> whether the biden administration now leading the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, follow the latest as c-span.org/coronavirus. search coverage of news conferences, as well as remarks from members of congress.
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use the interactive gallery of maps to follow the cases in the u.s. and worldwide. go to c-span.org/coronavirus. >> live tuesday on the c-span networks, the senate health education labor and pensions committee hears from california attorney general xavier becerra, president biden's nominee to be health and human services secretary at 10:00 a.m. on c-span. 10:00, the house or transfer general speeches. at 4:00 p.m., members consider six noncommercial bills -- noncontroversial bills. the senate, energy, and natural resources committee hears from debra haaland, president biden's nominee to be interior secretary. at 10:30, the senate resumes debate on linda thomas-greenfield's nomination to be u.s. ambassador to the united nations. with a bow on her nomination and agriculture secretary nominee tom vilsack in the afternoon.

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