Washington National Cathedral rings bell to mark 800,000 Covid dead in US

Cathedral tolled its 12-tonne bell once for every 1,000 Covid deaths

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The Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday rang its church bell 800 times to honour the 800,000 people who have died of Covid-19, marking yet another milestone in coronavirus deaths in the country.

The US surpassed 800,000 deaths from Covid-19 on Tuesday evening, data from Johns Hopkins University showed - the highest death toll of any country.

“As we mark the tragic milestone of 800,000 American deaths due to Covid-19, we remember each person and the lives they lived, and we pray for the loved ones left behind,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.

“I know what it’s like to stare at an empty chair around the kitchen table, especially during the holiday season, and my heart aches for every family enduring this pain.”

The cathedral tolled its 12-tonne bell once for every 1,000 Covid deaths in the US.

“This gesture cannot replace the lives lost, but we hope it will help each American mourn the toll of this pandemic,” a tweet from the cathedral read.

The cathedral has rung its bell each time the US has hit another 100,000 deaths during the pandemic.

The National Cathedral is a common name for the 57-acre Protestant Episcopal Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington.

It is also often the space where funerals are held for national leaders, most recently for former senator Bob Dole.

You can listen to the bells here.

Updated: December 16th 2021, 1:33 PM