Right on cue to exploit the dead for political purposes. From Reuters:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Coronavirus survivors are gathering online Sunday to honor the more than 207,000 U.S. lives lost in the pandemic and call for a national strategy to halt its relentless march.
The National COVID-19 Remembrance event is organized by Covid Survivors for Change and endorsed by more than a dozen groups, including many that support Americans reeling from the swift and lonely deaths of loved ones or battling lingering health issues from their infections.
Billed as the first national memorial service, it will be livestreamed from Washington, DC just days after President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced that they are among the more than 7 million reported cases in the United States. The couple’s infections came after months of criticism that Trump has politicized the U.S. COVID-19 response by undermining public health experts and proven interventions like mask wearing. The U.S. has suffered more confirmed COVID-19 deaths than any other nation.
The challenge for organizers is to connect with viewers without making them feel helpless or overwhelmed by the scale of the pandemic, which is killing more than 5,000 Americans each week.
“We’re not built, as humans, to understand what it means to have (that many) people die every single day - but what we can understand is one story,” said Chris Kocher, who drew on his experience as director of the survivor network at Everytown for Gun Safety when he launched Covid Survivors for Change.
He even worked for Mike Bloomberg when he was the NYC mayor. Can you guess the point of tomorrow’s rally?
The ceremony, called the National Covid-19 Remembrance, will involve a service held in the Ellipse, a park directly south of the White House. Organizers say the socially distanced event will include a moment of silence led by faith leaders, live and recorded musical performances and the installation of 20,000 empty chairs on the Ellipse, each one representing 10 or more lives lost during the pandemic.
The mobilization for the ceremony comes as President Trump has been trying to play down the impact of the virus, claiming it “affects virtually nobody.” As they call on political leaders to do more to curb the spread of the virus, organizers say they are drawing inspiration from previous remembrances for victims of gun violence, of the AIDS epidemic and of terrorist attacks.
“The lack of recognition has compounded people’s grief and trauma,” said Chris Kocher, executive director of Covid Survivors for Change, an organization created in June that is leading the remembrance effort.
So guess that means they’ll be rallying and calling for lockdowns and mask mandates and using an emotional angle to do so. Check it out here.