Gov. Ige orders flags lowered in tribute to 500K Americans killed by COVID-19

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Nina Wu, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Feb. 23—Gov. David Ige has ordered that the U.S. and Hawaii state flags be flown at half-staff at the State Capitol until sunset on Friday in remembrance of the.

The flags at all state offices and agencies as well as the Hawaii National Guard in the state will also be flown at half-staff until sunset Friday, under the direction of President Joe Biden.

"This action is being taken today, as the U.S. marks a half-million COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began, " said Ige in a statement. "Let us reflect on this loss and the memory of the more than 500, 000 fellow Americans — including 431 in Hawaii—who have died of COVID-19. Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones on this day."

With this milestone, more Americans have died in a single year of this pandemic than in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined, according to the.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi also issued a statement today.

"Over the past year, our country has endured immense tragedy." said Blangiardi. "Everyone has been impacted in some way by this pandemic. Today we learned this disease has claimed the lives of more than half a million people in the United States. While Oahu's case counts, positivity rate and hospitalizations are among the best in the country, the nation's fatality rate serves as a powerful reminder of how important it is to continue properly wearing masks, maintaining physical distances and washing your hands."

Biden is also asking Americans to observe a moment of silence at sunset, in honor of those who have died of COVID-19.