The event, which is set for 6:15 p.m. ET at the White House, will also feature first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff. Biden will deliver remarks on the lives lost ahead of the ceremony.
The ceremony underscores the empathetic message Biden has sought to bring to the US coronavirus response since taking office last month — a departure from his predecessor. On Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration was working on plans so the President could use his “own voice and platform to take a moment to remember the people whose lives have been lost, the families who are still suffering.”
“To heal we must remember,” Biden said at the January event. Harris also spoke briefly at the memorial, noting that “for many months, we have grieved by ourselves. Tonight, we grieve and begin healing together.”
“They are dying. That’s true. And you — it is what it is,” Trump said at the time. “But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it.”
“This is a race to get the vaccine out there broadly enough and fast enough that it eliminates the chance of spread of even more strains,” said Dr. Bala Hota, an infectious disease specialist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “We’re not out of the woods yet.”
This story has been updated with additional information Sunday.