Thursday, April 01, 2021

2020 death totals announced

I posted speculation that COVID-19 might not lead to measurable excess deaths. It appears that I was wrong:
The coronavirus was the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020, behind heart disease and cancer, according to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 3.3 million deaths were reported in the U.S. last year, a 16% increase over 2019, according to provisional data published Wednesday compiled by the National Vital Statistics System, which examines and reports annual mortality statistics based on death certificates.

The deadliest weeks last year were at the beginning of the pandemic and then in the middle of the holiday surge, during the weeks ending April 11, with 78,917 fatalities, and Dec. 26, when 80,656 people died, the CDC found.

According to the study released Wednesday, Covid-19 was listed as the underlying cause for 345,323 deaths, killing more Americans than unintentional injuries, strokes, chronic lower respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia and kidney disease.

Compared to other countries, 11 European countries had higher per capita death rates, and some countries had much lower rates. China, Vietnam, and Tanzania did the best, if you believe the official figures.

Most of those US covid deaths had multiple other co-morbidities, and no actual positive test for covid.

2020 showed that the USA is really good at keeping elderly obese diabetics alive in nursing homes, until a pandemic strikes.

This does not settle the question of whether the lockdowns and other measures were worthwhile or not. Since different countries used different strategies, you would think that we would have good data on what works and what does not. We do not, and it is still hotly debated whether any of these deaths were preventable, and whether the prevention measures were worth the cost.

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