As US nears 500,000 COVID-19 deaths, Biden to hold candle-lighting ceremony

President Biden wears a mask while speaking at the National Institutes of Health on Feb.

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As the US approaches 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus, President Joe Biden will hold a moment of silence and candle-lighting ceremony on Monday to mark the grim milestone. 

Even as COVID-19 vaccinations bring hope, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president's chief medical adviser, on Sunday told CNN that this week will mark a "terribly historic milestone in the history of this country." As of Monday morning, the US had recorded more than 499,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins.  The Biden administration has been working to ramp up vaccinations, and earlier this month the president said the US had now purchased enough doses of COVID-19 vaccines to cover all Americans.

Still, Fauci told CNN that Americans may need to continue to wear masks in 2022 and take other steps to protect against COVID-19, even as the US regains a "degree of normality" toward the end of this year.  Biden is expected to speak about the lives lost to COVID-19 around 6 p.m. ET/ 3 p.m.

PT, followed by the ceremony at the South Portico of the White House.

Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Douglas Emhoff, will also attend the ceremony, according to the White House. 

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