Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement upon the United States reaching the tragic toll of one million lives lost to COVID-19.
"There are no words to fully capture the loss of one million friends, loved ones, partners, family members, and those we did not know to COVID-19," said Senator Markey. "How do we grieve the uncelebrated anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and other cherished moments that make life the tapestry of shared experience and memories? Tragically, this pandemic is not yet over, not for the United States nor for the globe. We must acknowledge and continue to address the disproportionate impact this pandemic is having on Black, Brown, Indigenous, immigrant, and low-income communities. Our goal must be to confront the reckoning of injustice -- racial, economic, educational, health -- that this pandemic has made undeniable. And we must treat the lasting effects of long-COVID for those living with it, including with research, disability benefits, and quality health care. For the elderly and immunocompromised, the COVID-19 threat remains a daily specter, and we must center those communities in our response, planning, and messaging to ensure the death toll doesn't match the rates of the past two years. I will fight to pass legislation that supports those most impacted by this pandemic."
Since the start of the pandemic, Senator Markey has been a leader in calling for legislative action to fight the coronavirus, including on research, data collection and equity, mask mandates, financial relief for small businesses, and federal government oversight. In August 2021, Senators Markey, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced a resolution to memorialize those lost to the COVID--19 virus and recognize the suffering of COVID--19 survivors. This resolution would designate the first Monday in March as "COVID--19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day."