Coronavirus drove record U.S. death rate in 2020
The U.S. death rate increased by 15% last year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, making it the deadliest year in recorded U.S. history, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention will announce, according to two senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.
The agency will summarize its findings in an upcoming issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Its analysis will detail the rates at which U.S. residents of various races and ethnicities died as a result of the virus as well as the total number of deaths in each demographic group, those sources said.
Covid-19 was the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer, the report found. “Unintentional injuries” is normally the third-leading cause of death, officials said.
Altogether more than 3 million people in the U.S. died in 2020, the agency found.
According to CDC data, the 2020 increase is the largest since 1918 - when, in the midst of World War I, hundreds of thousands of people died of a flu. By comparison, the death rate decreased in 2019 by 1.2%compared to the 2018 toll.
The data used for that report was from January through June of 2020, Politico reported.
More than 528,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the U.S., according to official records. About 128,000 of those deaths occurred after Biden took office. While the death rate is decreasing, the number of Covid-19 cases remain high in jurisdictions across the country. Federal health officials are urging Americans to adhere to health restrictions such as mask wearing and social distancing while in public, even after vaccination.