Thursday, February 18, 2021

Life expectancy fell 1 year for all Americans, 3 years for African-Americans, during 2020 because of the pandemic

I opened CNBC asks 'Is The U.S. Running Out Of People?' with grim statistics and projections.
At the end of A pandemic update from Michigan as vaccinations ramp up while U.S. death toll passes 400,000, I quoted USA Today reporting "more than 3 million people died in 2020 — the deadliest year in US history" and "life expectancy for 2020 could end up dropping as much as three full years, said Robert Anderson of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
The CDC released their preliminary figures today showing that it was that bad for African-Americans, whose life expectancy dropped nearly 3 years last year. For Hispanics, it fell almost 2 years, for whites, just under 1 year, and for all Americans combined, it declined 1 full year, as the graph below from Voice of America shows.

That's the worst single-year decline in U.S. life expectancy since I started tracking it in 2016.

Good Morning America has some of the details in US life expectancy declined sharply due to COVID-19.

Life expectancy dropped a full year as the coronavirus spread during the first half of 2020 with Black Americans suffering the most, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.
"The greatest drop in life expectancy since World War II" — wow! That definitely places the impact of the pandemic in perspective. As for the experts being surprised, well, not all of them. The estimated drop was actually less than what Robert Anderson predicted, so I bet he wasn't. Because I paid attention to him, neither was I. I'm also not surprised that it will take until the end of July for everyone who wants a vaccination to get one — disappointed, maybe, but not surprised.

ABC News included more precise statistics in US life expectancy suffers historic drop due to COVID-19; audiences matter, since it's the same news organization as Good Morning America.

Experts are sounding the alarm about a new “hybrid” variant of the coronavirus. ABC’s Alex Presha reports.
This report tied the vaccination effort into both new varieties of the coronavirus and into how the severe cold weather is delaying distribution. The former is a longer-term threat, while the latter is a disaster in its own right.

The next milestone for the pandemic will be 500,000 U.S. deaths from COVID-19, which is likely to happen by the end of this month. When that happens, and it will, I will have an update. Until then, stay tuned.

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