PROVIDENCE, RI -- As the Rhode Island Department of Health reported that the state’s death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 1,000 people, U.S. Senator Jack Reed issued the following statement:

“Today we pause and reflect on the toll this pandemic has taken and grieve for those who were gone too soon.  This grim milestone represents a staggering, immeasurable loss of neighbors, friends, and family -- people from all walks of life and all across the state.  We mourn every one of them and our hearts ache for those they left behind.

“Accompanying our grief are other emotions: Anger at the virus.  Gratefulness to those who’ve helped and supported us through this pandemic.  Faith and perseverance to see us through and help us heal.  And resolve to strengthen our preparedness and response in order to keep Rhode Islanders healthy and safe.

“One can’t help but wonder: Shouldn’t more have been done to prevent the spread of this insidious virus?  And each of us must ask: How can we do a better job going forward to prevent the loss of more lives?  We are each other’s keepers.  It is up to every single one of us to do our part to keep ourselves and each other healthy and safe.

“Over the last several months, COVID-19 has transformed how we live and work and even the way we grieve.  But it hasn’t changed who we are or limited our capacity to care for one another.  All of us have reason to hope and remain vigilant.  Brighter days lay ahead.  But today we pause to remember and reflect on those we’ve lost and honor the way they lived.  They will be mightily missed.”