WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Joe Biden says the number of lives lost to COVID-19 in the U.S. tops the combined death toll from World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War.
Biden says it’s a “truly grim, heartbreaking milestone.”
Biden is urging Americans to resist becoming “numb to the sorrow” and “viewing each life as a statistic.” He says the people lost were “extraordinary.”
Biden also touched on the personal tragedy he’s experienced in losing his first wife and baby daughter in a car collision, and later losing an adult son to brain cancer.
Biden tells the nation’s he knows it’s hard but that “to heal, we must remember.”
He spoke before holding a moment of silence in the White House and inviting the public to join.
The President also ordered that all flags fly at half staff until sunset Friday, February 26, 2021 to commemorate the milestone of more than 500,000 American lives lost to COVID-19.