More than 500,000 American lives lost to COVID-19

Feb. 23, 2021

President Biden remarked on the milestone that more than 500,000 Americans have lost their lives during the pandemic. More have died in one year "in this pandemic than in World War One, World War Two, and the Vietnam War combined.  That’s more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on Earth," Biden said. 

He encouraged people to read the obituaries and remembrances of the people known, from the son who checked in nightly with his mother, to the reliable best friend and the nurses helping patients.  Recalling a trip to Kalamazoo, Michigan, at the Pfizer vaccine manufacturing facility, he met a man whose father-in-law was dying of the virus, too sick to speak. 

"We all know someone — fellow Americans who lived lives of struggle, of purpose, and of hope.  Who talked late into the night about their dreams; who wore the uniform, born to serve; who loved, prayed, and always offered a hand," Biden said while addressing things like survivor's remorse, saying loved ones will always be a part of the heart. 

Though people are often described as “ordinary Americans,” there’s nothing ordinary about the people lost, as they spanned generations. Whether they were born in America, or if they immigrated to America, so many took their final breath in America.

  Remember those lost and left behind, but remember to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

"We have to fight this together, as one people, as the United States of America.  That’s the only way we’re going to beat this virus, I promise you," Biden said. "Let this not be a story of how far we fell, but of how far we climbed back up.  We can do this."

He ended with words of encouragement.  "This nation will smile again.  This nation will know sunny days again.  This nation will know joy again.  And as we do, we will remember each person we’ve lost, the lives they lived, the loved ones they left behind.  We will get through this, I promise you.  But my heart aches for you — those of you who are going through it right now."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 75,205,940 doses of vaccine have been delivered to states, with 64,177,474 doses administered. Over 19 million Americans have received the full 2-dose series, and more than 44 million have had at least one dose. 

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