Signs of hope amid ceremonies mourning the staggering toll of covid-19
By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Joel Achenbach
By the light of 500 candles as “Amazing Grace” played outside the White House, President Biden bowed his head in a minute of reflection on the 500,000 American lives lost to the coronavirus, crossing himself after the music faded out.
Although it was not reflected in the solemn sundown ceremony, Monday also brought decidedly good news on the coronavirus front. The pace of vaccinations is accelerating, deaths and new infections are sharply down, and worries about just how bad the pandemic can get are being replaced with halting questions about when, exactly, all this will be behind us.
But those positive signs have been played down by a federal government that opted this week to focus on the grim pandemic milestone and is cautious of giving Americans an excuse to lower their guards prematurely.