WASHINGTON, D.C. (KRON) – U.S. Senator Kamala Harris released a statement Wednesday after the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 100,000.

“My heart aches for those who have lost loved ones to this horrific illness,” she wrote. “As we remember the more than 100,000 people in the United States who we have lost to COVID-19, we must recognize that much of this suffering was preventable and commit to speaking the truth about what we face in the months to come.”

The U.S. surpassed a jarring milestone Wednesday in the coronavirus pandemic: 100,000 deaths.

Early on, President Donald Trump downplayed the severity of the coronavirus and called it no worse than the common flu. He previously predicted the country wouldn’t reach this death toll. As early as March, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, was warning that COVID-19 could claim more than 100,000 lives in the U.S.

Harris turned her attention to the Trump administration, saying its slow response made the pandemic worse than it had to be.

“This administration’s glaring failures made this pandemic worse than it had to be. They downplayed the threat and failed to secure the testing kits, supplies, and personal protective equipment needed to save lives,” she wrote. “The president himself has spread dangerous misinformation and conflicting messages; and has made clear that he is more concerned with deflecting blame and scoring political points than fulfilling his responsibility to protect public health. The Trump administration must start listening to the experts and following the science. Lives depend on it.”

At the end March, the United States eclipsed China with 3,500 deaths. Now, the U.S. has not only the highest death total, but the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world, making up more than 30% of the global total.

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