Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Somber Milestone Of 600,000 COVID-19 Related Deaths In The United States

June 14, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the somber milestone of 600,000 American lives lost from COVID-19. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Tonight, Congressional Leaders will mark what is hopefully the final, somber milestone of the COVID pandemic: 600,000 American lives lost to the disease. It is particularly jarring at this moment – a moment of recovery, optimism, and hope – to remember the enormity of lives lost over the past 15 months. Not only that, we face the grim reality that these recent fatalities happened while Americans were on the verge of getting the vaccine. Some had their appointment just days away.

So as our fellow Americans are taking their masks off, going back to work, seeing family and friends, and returning—as they should—to life, let us remember those who cannot.

Let us hold them, in our hearts, a little while longer.

I’m reminded of the famous meditation by the English soldier and poet John Donne, who told us that “no man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. So if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less.”

“Any man’s death diminishes me,” he said, “because I am involved in mankind. Therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

The bells have tolled for 600,000 Americans this past year, a staggering and incomprehensible sum. Remember them. Hold them in your hearts a little while longer.