COVID-19 might reduce US life expectancy by 3 years: report

COVID-19 might reduce US life expectancy by 3 years: report
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Approximately 45 U.S. military medical personnel will deploy to Wisconsin this week. (U.S. Army photo by Luis A. Deya)

A long list of major developed countries have had greater life expectancy rates than the United States, including 83 in Spain and France in 2018 and 81 in Germany that same year, compared with 78 in the U.S. in 2019. And because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Victoria Bekiempis reports in The Guardian, U.S. life expectancy might decrease by up to three years.

According to Bekiempis, "The U.S. could see a decline of two to three years in life expectancy in 2020 due to the coronavirus, the steepest drop since the second world war. COVID-19 is poised to become the third-leading cause of death in America, the Wall Street Journal reported."

The leading cause of death in the U.S., Bekiempis notes, is heart disease, followed by cancer at #2. And Bekiempis cites COVID-19 data from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore to show why COVID-19 is moving into the #3 position.

As of Monday, December 21, Bekiempis observes, there had been 18 million cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.—and on Tuesday morning, December 22, accoding to Johns Hopkins, the United States' COVID-19 death count had reached 319,466

"For comparison, in 2019 around 659,000 people died of heart disease in America, and around 600,000 from cancer," Bekiempis reports. "The third-leading cause of death, accidents, killed around 173,000."

The U.S., according to Johns Hopkins, has the most COVID-19 deaths in the world. The good news, as Bekiempis points out, is the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S.

Those who are being vaccinated this week include President-elect Joe Biden and expert immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci. Bekiempis adds, however, that "some models predict a death toll of more than 500,000 by the spring, and more than 5,000 deaths a day."

Robert Anderson, who leads the CDC National Center for Health Statistics, told the Wall Street Journal that life expectancy in the U.S., factoring in data for August and before that, has already dropped by about 1.5 years and added, we've had a lot of deaths added since August. So, I think a drop of two to three years for 2020 isn't out of the question."

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