President Biden addressed the nation on Monday evening to honor the 500,000 people who have died of COVID-19 in the United States, on the day the nation officially surpassed the once unthinkable toll. "That's more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on Earth," Biden said. "But as we acknowledge the scale of this mass death in America, we remember each person and the life they lived." The president observed a moment of silence and candle-lighting ceremony at the White House, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris. Earlier in the day, Biden ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff at federal buildings for the rest of the week. Biden's focus on the magnitude of the loss from the pandemic marked a contrast with the posture of former President Donald Trump, who frequently downplayed the severity of the crisis.

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