The CDC has reported that the U.S has recorded about 299,000 excess deaths from late January to October 2020. This means almost 300,000 more deaths than expected in a typical year as a result of coronavirus and other causes.
According to the CDC, about 216,025 deaths have been reported from COVID-19 alone in the United States. This amounts to two-thirds of the total death toll with the rest resulting from other causes. The report states that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on Latinos (53.6%) and Blacks/Asians (28.9% to 36.6%) while Whites have seen an increase of 11.9% in excess death.
The excess deaths have also hit people between the ages of 25-44 years, with the said age group recording an excess death rate of 26.5 percent over preceding years. (This is the largest change in any age group as death recorded among people between the ages of 45-64 years and 65-74 years are 14.4% and 24.1% respectively).
The unexpectedly high mortality rate for adults in the prime of their lives, from 25 – 65, has been a source of ongoing concern for public health experts and others. However, it is not clear if the surprising spike in death increase among people aged 25 – 44 years is as a result of the shift in COVID-19 deaths towards younger people between May and August or as a result of deaths from other causes especially since deaths from suicide, drug overdose, and domestic violence were also recognized.
Lauren M. Rossen, a senior health statistician at the National Center for Health Statistics explained that the death rate in the young-adult age group had been on the increase well before the pandemic hit but that the reason for the increase is not clear. Jeremy S. Faust, a medical practitioner at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s who is examining the increase in death rate explained that the increase in the death rate among youths might not be connected to the pandemic. Faust stated that younger people hardly die from COVID-19 complications, making this new scary increase a crisis connected to public health.
The United States is currently experiencing another wave of COVID-19 prevalence around the country and medical experts are warning that there might be even more deaths in the coming months. Steven Woolf, director emeritus at the Virginia Commonwealth University, stated that he conducted an independent investigation into the increasing death rate and discovered that the number given to the public is lower than the real number of people who have died. The director explained that the way things are going, the excess death rate is likely to hit over 400,000 in a few months.
Asides from the CDC, other sources such as The Washington Post and independent researchers at Yale University have highlighted two major causes of the recorded excess deaths. The first being as a result of COVID-19 and the second as a result of deaths at home or in nursing homes from strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, and other diseases among people afraid or unable to seek medical care. The CDC also found that excess deaths have occurred every week from March, with the peak being the second week of April and August.
With just two weeks left in the presidential campaign, this report has shed more light on the impact of the virus which has allegedly been minimized at every turn by the Trump administration. This has proved to be a major weakness for the president as his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, has made his plans to tackle the pandemic his major focus during his campaign.