Members of Congress hold moment of silence for Americans who died of COVID-19

The lawmakers gathered outside the Capitol as U.S. deaths near 600,000.

June 14, 2021, 8:02 PM

As the United States approaches the grim milestone of 600,000 coronavirus deaths, a group of bipartisan lawmakers gathered on the east front steps of the U.S. Capitol building on Monday evening to honor the lives lost.

The group included Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D- Calif., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and other bipartisan members of Congress.

"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," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said earlier on the Senate floor Monday. "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."

Rep. Ilhan Omar tears up during a moment of silence for 600,000 American lives lost to COVID-19, outside the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., June 14, 2021.
Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA via Shutterstock

"So, as our fellow Americans are taking their masks off, going back to work, seeing families and friends, and returning as they should to life, let us remember those who cannot," Schumer continued. "Let us hold them in our hearts a little while longer."

Members of Congress observe a moment of silence for the 600,000 American lives lost to COVID-19, outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., June 14, 2021.
Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

Following the moment of silence, Tech. Sgt. Matthew Scollin from the Air Force Band sang "God Bless America."

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