A heartbreaking statistic has emerged amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. As of Monday, the Coronavirus has claimed over 500,000 American lives! The global death toll from COVID-19 stands at over 2.47 million people, with 500,071 dead in the US alone.

Last night, in a somber memorial, 500 candles, each representing 1,000 people who had succumbed to the disease, were lit outside the White House. President Joe Biden paid his respects to the dead. He was accompanied by the First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and the Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff.

Speaking briefly on the occasion, President Biden said, “Today marks a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone. 500,071 dead. That’s more Americans who have died in one year than World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined.”

President Biden went on to say, “As a nation, we cannot accept such a cruel fate,” adding, “We have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow.” He offered words of comfort saying, “A 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.” He also urged Americans to remain vigilant, practice social distancing, wear masks and get vaccinated when their turn arrived in order to combat the deadly virus.

Biden reminded the country of his own words from January 19, a day before his inauguration, at yet another memorial to mark 400,000 COVID-19 fatalities. On that day, he had said, “To heal, we have to remember.”

The entire speech may be viewed here:

*Feature Image: Lieutenant (junior grade) Natasha McClinton, a surgical nurse, prepares a patient for a procedure in the intensive care unit aboard the U.S. the hospital ship USNS Comfort. The ship cares for critical and non critical patients without regard to their COVID-19 status. Comfort is working with Javits New York Medical Station as an integrated system to relieve the New York City medical system, in support of U.S. Northern Command’s Defense Support of Civil Authorities as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. US Navy Public Domain image via Wikimedia Commons.