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Why CNN aired a national memorial service for the 500,000 lives lost by Covid-19

More than 500,000 Americans died from Kovid. More than 500,000 lives interrupted by a pandemic, the rest of us will never forget. Journalists strive for words, illustrations and images to meet the scale of the moment.
As Pien Huang of the NPR wrote on Monday, “The loss of half a million lives from the disease was unimaginable when the first few people died of COVID-19 in the United States last February.”

Huang quoted Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones, former president of the American Public Health Association, as saying, “The sheer number and loss of these people from our society is not recognized. We cannot think that these people are available and are necessary and that we can just understand very well without them. These are the blinds that rip out the power of the whole society. “

President Biden and his administration have done their utmost to acknowledge the loss with respect and a minute of candlelight silence at the White House Monday night. The broadcast networks carried it live along with the main cable news networks. Several of the shows showed the faces of the victims and personalized the unattainable loss.

“Please do not look away from this and do not be stunned by the pandemic,” Lisa Respers France, a daily in the CNN newsletter, wrote on Monday. Lisa’s father died last week. She wrote, “My father and uncle are included in this issue, and it’s a pain I don’t wish on anyone. Death always hurts, but it’s painful when you know it shouldn’t have been.”

You are not alone.

CNN’s Brianna Kaylar “fell apart on the air” as she shared tragic videos of those who lost family members with Covid-19 – urging viewers to remember lost lives, even if they were “eavesdropped” and “tired”. from the pandemic, “Leaia Idlibi of Mediaite writes.
“I know it’s hard. I hear it from so many of you,” Kaylar said. “I know you’re tired. I know you’re eavesdropped on. More than a year has passed since the first reported case of coronavirus. Quarantine, hoping this will go away, only to realize it won’t happen soon, the struggle to make ends meet, that if this is the day you can catch a fever or start coughing, juggling your work while teaching your kids at home, afraid to see your grandparents, afraid to see your grandchildren knowing a vaccine that you and your loved ones still can’t get by fighting mental health. And for nearly 500,000 Americans who lost their lives in the past year. It’s a collective loss. We’re taking this moment to acknowledge it. You’re not alone And if you’re lucky enough to have some more fuel in your tank today, it’s a good day to remind someone in your life that you’re there for them. “

Faith, reflection, healing

CNN aired “We Remember 500,000: National Memorial Service for Covid-19” on Monday. I asked host Jake Tapper how the special one-hour program came about. “Last spring, given the administration’s refusal to acknowledge the important loss our nation suffered, a good friend of mine suggested to CNN that this gap be filled,” Tapper said. “That was for the 100,000 dead from Kovid in the United States.” (Special aired on Sunday, May 31).

“It’s tragic that we’re in another horrifying and heartbreaking stage, 500,000. So it made even more sense to take some time to try to honor the loss and maybe find community and maybe even more meaning in faith and reflection, “Tapper said. “I’m grateful, as always, to work in a news network and for a boss who allows such moments.”

We will never know the total number of dead

At a briefing for the British response team on Monday, a reporter pointed to the fact that “some officials and health experts have said that we almost certainly report COVID-19 deaths in this country.” CDC Director Rochelle Valensky confirmed that: “I think that when history writes this, we will understand that the mortality rate associated with this pandemic is much higher than the numbers we counted, for many reasons.”

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