Biden mourns 500,000 dead, balancing nation’s grief and hope

WASHINGTON (AP) — With sunset remarks and a national moment of silence, President Joe Biden has offered a head-on acknowledgement of the country’s once-unimaginable loss — half a million Americans in the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden addressed what he called a “grim, heartbreaking milestone” directly and publicly, speaking from a lectern in the White House Cross Hall. He spoke about the half-million lost Americans as though he knew them, adding that “there’s nothing ordinary about them. The people we lost were extraordinary.” Biden and his wife, Jill, along with Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff then stepped outside to observe a moment of silence at sunset.