WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Thursday he will order U.S. flags to be lowered over federal buildings to honor those who have died from the coronavirus.
The order, which Trump said would continue into the Memorial Day weekend, comes as the nation approaches 100,000 deaths from the virus. Flags traditionally fly at half staff on Memorial Day to honor the nation's fallen members of the military.
"I will be lowering the flags on all Federal Buildings and National Monuments to half-staff over the next three days in memory of the Americans we have lost to the CoronaVirus," Trump tweeted Thursday. "On Monday, the flags will be at half-staff in honor of the men and women in our Military who have made the Ultimate Sacrifice for our Nation."
Trump's decision came hours after congressional Democrats sent a letter requesting that the flags be lowered when the coronavirus death toll hits 100,000.
"As we pay our respects to them, sadly, our country mourns the deaths of nearly 100,000 Americans from COVID-19. Our hearts are broken over this great loss and our prayers are with their families," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote in the letter.
Trump is expected to visit Baltimore's Fort McHenry on Memorial Day.
More than 94,000 Americans have died of the virus as of Thursday evening, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.5 million coronavirus cases have been diagnosed in the country. The global death toll almost has surpassed 330,000.