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Total human death told of COVID-19 so far, in years

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Life expectancy in America had already shown signs of stalling out in the years before the coronavirus

Life expectancy in the US dropped a full year in the first half of 2020, according to a report published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

From January through June of last year, that was 77.8 years for the entire USA population, down from 78.8 years in 2019.

Life expectancy in America had already shown signs of stalling in the years before the coronavirus, after rising steadily for most of the period since World War II.

The Covid-19 pandemic is likely responsible for "the majority of the decline", said Elizabeth Arias, a health scientist at the Mortality Statistics Branch of the NCHS and the lead author of the report.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times. The areas most affected in the first half of 2020 are more urban and have different demographics than the areas hit hard by the virus later in the year.

"What is really quite striking in these numbers is that they only reflect the first half of the year", Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo at the University of California, San Francisco, told AP.

Deaths from COVID-19 are the main factor in the overall drop in US life expectancy between January and June 2020, the CDC says. It had already been known that 2020 was the deadliest year in USA history, with deaths topping 3 million for the first time.

This is a level lower than what it was in 2006, the first year for which life expectancy estimates for Hispanic Americans were produced.

Last year was the deadliest year in American history, with total deaths surpassing 3 million for the first time.

The pandemic has also reversed decades of effort to narrow the life expectancy gap between Black and White Americans. The gap in life expectancy between sexes increased from 5.1 years in 2019 to 5.4 in 2020. Life expectancy for Black Americans dropped a stunning 2.7 years, to 72 years old, reversing a 27-year gradual closure of the gap between white and Black life expectancy.

Experts say that ethnic minority communities have borne the brunt of the pandemic, as they are more likely to work in frontline low-wage jobs and endure crowded living conditions.

More than 490,000 people have died as a result of Covid-19 in the U.S., the highest death toll in the world.

Analysis by the Brookings Institution published a year ago said: "In every age category, black people are dying from Covid at roughly the same rate as white people more than a decade older".

Overall, the drop in life expectancy is more evidence of "our mishandling of the pandemic", Brawley said. The data also hinges on the timely submission of death certificates, which may have been delayed due to pandemic-related logistical reasons, the report said.

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