The death toll of COVID-19 in the U.S. has passed 200,000, and a group of survivors and family members of those who died, called COVID Survivors for Change, brought awareness to that fact by constructing a huge art installation on the Ellipse Lawn, across from the White House.
They set up 20,000 empty chairs on Sunday, representing roughly 10% of the number of fatalities. Of course, in the year 2020, there is usually a political motivation behind every event in the nation’s capital, and Pastor William H Lamar IV, who gave the opening remarks at this function, said the government is responsible for the empty chairs.
“I want the president and all with COVID to be well, but I also have to place responsibility upon the president and other leaders who have not taken this seriously,” Lamar said, according to WJLA. “There is blood on the hands of those who refuse to do what is necessary to protect human beings.”
The chairs were strategically placed to be within view of the White House, and an army of volunteers worked to stage this elaborate and powerful image. During the nearly three-hour event, the names and photos of many of the people who have died of COVID were included in the live stream.
The intent of this event was to allow families of those who died from COVID to publicly grieve together, since the lockdown across the nation has prevented funerals and burial services in most parts of the country.