In accordance with a proclamation from President Joseph Biden, Governor Dan McKee has directed U.S. and Rhode Island flags to be flown at half-staff at all state facilities and buildings.

The flags will remain at half-staff until sunset on May 16, 2022 in memory of the 1 million American lives lost to COVID-19 and the loved ones left behind.

“Today, we pause to reflect on a tragic milestone — 1 million American lives have been lost to COVID-19. Susan and I are keeping everyone who has lost a loved one to this virus in our hearts. COVID-19 has challenged us in so many ways, but the American people and the people of Rhode Island have shown great compassion and immense resilience, together. As we honor the memory of those we have lost, let us recommit to protecting ourselves and those around us by getting vaccinated and boosted.”

McKee also asks Rhode Islanders to lower their flags as a sign of respect.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.