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About 10% more Americans are going to die from COVID in 2021 than in 2020

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That is an astounding statistic, given that there was no vaccine in 2020 — the first vaccine doses began to be administered in late December –while there is no reason other than the Republican party and Fox News that all of the US adult population over age 15 should not have been vaccinated by the midway point of 2021.

The vaccines have, however, led to a fairly massive shift in the demographics of COVID death, although — again because of the GOP and Fox News — they have not been able to reduce total COVID deaths in the USA.

Here are the age at death stats as of yesterday per the CDC. Keep in mind that these numbers, comparing 2020 to 2021 outcomes, are going to get worse in regard to the present year, because they are incomplete in two ways: They lack all data for the last six weeks of 2021, and a certain number of COVID deaths from the first ten and a half months of the year haven’t been recorded officially yet, aka data lag. I’ve rounded to the nearest thousand in most groups.

2021

380K total through 11/17/2021

0-17     407

18-29   3000

30-39   9000

40-49   21000

50-64   83000

65-74   91000

75-84   92000

85+      81000

2020

385K total

0-17     198

18-29   1500

30-39   4300

40-49   11300

50-64   57000

65-74   82000

75-84  106000

85+      123000

Note that the total deaths in each age cohort below 50 have pretty much exactly doubled in 2021 compared to 2020 (again this ratio is going to get worse). In the 50-64 cohort there have already been 45% more deaths in 2021 than in all of 2020.

Only in people 65 and older have mortality rates from COVID actually declined in 2021 compared to 2020, although of course these are the cohorts that have by far both the highest mortality rates from the disease and the highest vaccination rates.

Given current trends plus data lag the final death toll from COVID in the USA in 2021 is likely to be around 420,000 official deaths, that is, around 10% higher than in 2020. Remarkably, almost half of these deaths will have taken place in the second half of the year: we have already seen 165,000 COVID deaths since July 1. Conservatively speaking at least 90% of those 200,000 or so deaths would have been preventable if the people who died had been vaccinated.

The real death toll, however, in the sense of excess deaths caused directly and indirectly by the pandemic is going to be over one million for 2020 and 2021 combined, as excess deaths in the population (that is, total deaths expected in the population if not for the pandemic) have been running consistently 25% higher than the official COVID death count.

These excess deaths consist of some as yet unknown combination of incorrectly coded COVID deaths, and spillover effects from the pandemic that have on net raised other cause of death rates by enough to create more than a quarter million excess deaths from causes other than COVID, at least officially speaking.

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