President Joe Biden on Friday night encouraged all Americans to get vaccinated as he marked "another tragic milestone" in the Covid pandemic.
"900,000 American lives have been lost to COVID-19,” the president said in a statement. "Each soul is irreplaceable."
"After nearly two years, I know that the emotional, physical, and psychological weight of this pandemic has been incredibly difficult to bear," Biden said. "I know what it’s like to stare at an empty chair around the kitchen table. But I also know that we carry an incredible capacity within ourselves — not only to come through our grief stronger, but to come together to protect one another."
He reminded Americans that the nation now has "more tools than ever before to save lives and fight this virus — with vaccines remaining our most important tool."
"Vaccines and boosters have proven incredibly effective, and offer the highest level of protection," the president said. "Two hundred and fifty million Americans have stepped up to protect themselves, their families, and their communities by getting at least one shot — and we have saved more than one million American lives as a result."
Over the past six weeks, states with low vaccination rates have experienced the biggest share of Covid deaths, according to NBC News’ tally.
"We can save even more lives — and spare countless families from the deepest pain imaginable — if everybody does their part," Biden said.
At least 100,000 deaths have been reported nationwide since Dec.13. During that period, Tennessee, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania have had the largest number of deaths when adjusted for population.
Of these states, Pennsylvania is the only one to have fully vaccinated more than 60 percent of its population. “Fully vaccinated” means that at least two weeks have passed since a person received the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine.
"I urge all Americans: get vaccinated, get your kids vaccinated, and get your booster shot if you are eligible. It’s free, easy, and effective — and it can save your life, and the lives of those you love," Biden said.