Amid COVID-19, US life expectancy sees biggest drop since WWII | Nutrition FIt



Life expectancy among American adults dropped by 1 year—the biggest dip since World War II—in the first half of 2020, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC used the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), which collects and disseminates the nation’s official vital statistics, to show life expectancy estimates based on provisional death counts for January through June, 2020.

In the first half of 2020, life expectancy at birth for the total US population was 77.8 years, declining by 1.0 year from 78.8 in 2019. Life expectancy at birth for males was 75.1 years in the first half of 2020, representing a decline of 1.2 years from 76.3 years in 2019. For females, life expectancy declined to 80.5 years, decreasing 0.9 year from 81.4 years in 2019.

Black and Hispanic Americans fared worse in these estimates. Life expectancy dropped by 2.7 years for non-Hispanic black people and 1.9 years for Hispanic individuals.

“The Hispanic population experienced the second largest decline in life expectancy (79.9) reaching a level lower than what it was in 2006, the first year for which life expectancy estimates by Hispanic origin were produced (80.3),” the report said.

And life expectancy could drop further, given that the first half of 2020 only contained about 4 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For 1 month, the United States has seen declining COVID-19 infection rates across the country, but the death count remains high. The United States reported 68,419 new COVID-19 cases yesterday and 2,366 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker.

In total, the United States has recorded 27,866,972 cases of COVID-19, including 491,724 deaths.

Expanded school, congregate living testing

Yesterday, White House officials announced the Biden administration will spend $650 million to expand testing for K-8 schools, homeless shelters, and other congregate settings. According to National Public Radio, the plan would mean an additional 25 million COVID-19 tests performed each month at new “hubs” created by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense.

Also announced yesterday was $815 million to increase domestic production of test supplies and $200 million directed to the CDC to increase genomic sequencing.

In vaccine news, Pentagon officials report that about 30% of America’s military personnel are declining to receive COVID-19 vaccines, the New York Times reports. That refusal rate is slightly above that of the civilian population. Although the Pentagon requires some immunizations, it has not yet required COVID-19 vaccination.

The CDC COVID Data Tracker shows that 73,377,450 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered in the United States, and 57,737,767 doses have been administered, with 16,162,358 people receiving two doses.

Other US developments

  • The Wall Street Journal reports that US agents seized 10 million counterfeit N95 respirators with false 3M logos in recent weeks. The Department of Homeland Security said the respirators were made in China.
  • The FBI and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have launched an investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes early in the pandemic, ABC News reports


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