Biden called the milestone "truly grim" and "heartbreaking" as he noted the pandemic has taken more American lives than World Warr I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined.
"That’s more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on Earth," Biden said.
- The president, first lady, vice president and second gentleman held a moment of silence outside of the White House.
- There were 500 lit candles meant to represent the more than 500,000 American lives lost.
The president empathized with families who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to COVID-19, reminding them that there is a way through the sorrow and grief.
"To those who have lost loved ones this is what I know, they’re never truly gone, they’ll always be part of your heart," Biden said. "The day will come when the memory of the loved one you lost will bring a smile to your lips before a tear to your eye … my prayer for you is that [those days] will come sooner rather than later."
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