By ITV News Washington News Editor Alex Chandler
Flags are flying at half mast right across America on Thursday in memory of the country's one million Covid deaths, a threshold President Joe Biden described as a "tragic landmark".
The US has been the nation most badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and the government's handling of it across two presidential administrations still divides the country.
The president urged his fellow Americans not to become "numb to such sorrow" and called on the country, while humbled by the toll, not to give up.
For America's healthcare workers so long on the frontline of fighting the virus, this too is a moment of reflection.
In Cleveland Ohio, Dr Eduardo Mireles steered his intensive care department through the most challenging clinical challenge of their lives.
"We're also obviously very concerned that there's another peak, our teams have been through a lot. Each one of them has been eroding our teams" - Dr Mireles, director intensive care unit Cleveland Clinic
But while the virus took a terrible toll on his team, Dr Mireles says the whole profession has stepped up, learnt throughout the pandemic and is in a better position for the next such virus.
One member of his team, critical care nurse, Erica Marske, reflected on the stories of those she treated and comforted as they fought and too frequently lost their battle with Covid.
"It's a tragedy that I know that a lot of those deaths were preventable and at times, work is hard because it feels fruitless knowing people have come in and it's too late for them to get vaccinated" - Ms Marske, a critical care nurse at Cleveland Clinic
On the very day President Biden hosted the second global Covid summit, its aim to redouble the world's efforts to control the virus and prepare for another, America has to face the unpalatable truth that despite being the planet's leading nation, it badly failed its people in protecting them from the ravages of Covid.
The reckoning in lives lost and families broken is still to be truly dealt with, and it comes with political and cultural fall out for those in charge.
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