VIDEO: Biden speaks at vigil honoring COVID-19 victims as US death toll tops 500K

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- President Joe Biden on Monday spoke at a White House vigil honoring the United States’ COVID-19 victims as the country’s death toll surpassed 500,000.

“Today we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone,” Biden said. “Five hundred thousand seventy-one dead. That’s more Americans who have died in one year, in this pandemic, than in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined.”

“That’s more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on earth.” he said. “But as we acknowledge the scale of this mass death in America, we remember each person, and the life they lived.”

“They’re people we knew. They’re people we feel like we knew,” he added. “The people we lost were extraordinary. They spanned generations. Born in America, immigrated to America. But just like that, so many of them took their final breath alone in America.”

“As a nation, we can’t accept such a cruel fate. While we’re fighting this pandemic for so long, we have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow. We have to resist viewing each life as a statistic, or blur, or ‘on the news,'" he went on to say. "We must do so to honor the dead, but equally important care for the living, those they left behind.”

Flags at the White House and other federal buildings will fly at half-staff until sunset on Feb. 26 to honor the pandemic's victims, Biden noted.