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Biden to host nationwide COVID-19 remembrance memorial day before inauguration

"It is important that we honor the lives lost to COVID-19"

Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool
Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool
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Updated: December 31, 2020 - 11:44am

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Joe Biden's inaugural committee says it will hold a nationwide memorial to honor the lives of those who died from COVID-19 on the day before Biden's scheduled Jan. 20 inauguration.

"During this time when so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, it is important that we honor the lives lost to COVID-19 and renew our commitment to coming together to end the pandemic and rebuild our nation," the committee tweeted Thursday.

The memorial will take place on the evening of Jan. 19 and will include a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C., according to a news release from the Presidential Inauguration Committee.

The committee invited cities and towns across the U.S. "to join Washington, D.C. in illuminating buildings and ringing church bells at 5:30 p.m. ET in a national moment of unity and remembrance."

The committee has also warned Americans not to travel to D.C. for the inauguration of Biden and running mate Kamala Harris.

Earlier this month, Biden detailed a three-point plan to combat the pandemic that includes an effort to distribute 100 million vaccine shots in his initial 100 days in office – enough to inoculate 50 million people, a request for Americans to wear a mask through his first 100 days in office and and an attempt to get children back into classrooms safely.

On Tuesday, Biden criticized the Trump administration over the distribution of vaccines.

"As I have long feared and warned, the effort to distribute and administer the vaccine is not progressing as it should," Biden said in a speech in Wilmington, Del. "If it continues moving as it is now, it will take years, not months to vaccinate the American people."