Unthinkable just four months ago, the United States on Wednesday surpassed the grim milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths, as the pandemic tightened its grip on Latin America.
With the European Union unveiling a massive recovery plan to step up its emergence from the crisis, the catastrophic US figure was a reminder of the devastation being wreaked across the ocean all over the hard-hit Americas.
Confirmed US deaths just before 2200 GMT stood at 100,047, with 1.69 million infections, according to the tally compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi paused during a news conference to note the staggering toll of the “villainous virus,” even as states cautiously re-open their shuttered, devastated economies.
“Little did we know we would be coming here almost at the exact time when our country would be registering 100,000 people dying from the coronavirus,” Pelosi said.
Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, noted the grisly landmark by speaking directly to suffering families.
“To those hurting, I’m so sorry for your loss,” the former vice president said via tweet. “The nation grieves with you.”