Just a day after coronavirus deaths in the United states reached 100,000, President Donald Trump, in a tweet marking what he called "a very sad milestone," offered his condolences to those who have lost loved ones. The Thursday morning tweet, which came amid a flurry of other tweets, marked the first time the president has publicly addressed the grim milestone outside of a White House statement, something he previously said the U.S. would never see.
We have just reached a very sad milestone with the coronavirus pandemic deaths reaching 100,000. To all of the families & friends of those who have passed, I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy & love for everything that these great people stood for & represent. God be with you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2020
The United States officially reached and surpassed 100,000 deaths Wednesday, marking the highest death toll of any nation and a number reached in under four months, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. As TIME reports, that number — more than a third of all coronavirus deaths worldwide — equals more American lives than were lost to the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks combined. By Thursday morning, that number had risen even higher, surpassing 100,400 deaths, with confirmed cases in the country reaching more than 1.7 million.
On Wednesday, as the United States reached those numbers, a White House spokesman, in a statement, said the president’s "prayers for comfort and strength are with all of those grieving the loss of a loved one or friend as a result of this unprecedented plague, and his message to this great Nation remains one of resilience, hope and optimism," according to CNBC. The statement added that "the American people have always been strong and resilient, and the President is proud of their spirit, courage and determination every single day to defeat this virus."
There are moments in our history so grim, so heart-rending, that they're forever fixed in each of our hearts as shared grief. Today is one of those moments. 100,000 lives have now been lost to this virus.
To those hurting, I'm so sorry for your loss. The nation grieves with you. pic.twitter.com/SBBRKV4mPZ— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 27, 2020
Meanwhile, 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful and former vice president Joe Biden marked the grim milestone with a video shared to Twitter. In the clip, Biden said that "there are moments in our history so grim, so heart-rending, that they're forever fixed in each of our hearts as shared grief," adding that Wednesday 'is one of those moments." He added that it was "a fateful milestone we should have never reached” and one that "could have been avoided."