The pandemic shaved nearly two years off the average American lifespan
Drop was much steeper here than in other rich nations
This week the CDC finally released official mortality data for 2020. It is ugly: average life expectancy dropped by nearly two years, the sharpest decline since World War II. The pandemic was the primary driver of this, officially becoming the third-leading cause of death in the country, behind only heart disease and cancer.
In one year, we’ve erased close to two decades of progress on longevity.
This wasn’t inevitable. The chart below, comparing our life expectancy drop with the situation in other advanced democracies, illustrates the embarrassing extent of our pandemic response failure.