WASHINGTON, DC – Today, after news reports indicated that the nation’s death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 500,000 people, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) issued the following statement:

“We feel immeasurable sorrow.  It’s unfathomable to think about half a million moms and dads, grandparents, children, neighbors, friends, and fellow citizens who’ve been taken too early by this pandemic.  Losing half a million people like this is absolutely devastating.  But we carry them in our hearts and we have a responsibility to shape a brighter future.  We must each do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“There will be a time to look back at what could have and should have been done better and hold elected officials accountable.  There’s no question that President Trump should have taken the pandemic seriously from the start.  Instead of minimizing it he could and should have led a national effort. We’ll have to learn the right lessons and prevent deadly errors and misjudgments from being repeated.

“Today, we take a moment to mourn those we lost, thank those on the front lines who have served, and appreciate the sacrifice of all who have done their part to protect others.  We are not out of the woods yet.  We’ve got to keep going -- keep doing the right thing.  We owe it to those we lost.”