Last week the CDC announced that the COVID-19 pandemic pushed total U.S. deaths in 2020 beyond 3.3 million, the nation’s highest annual death toll.
The coronavirus caused approximately 375,000 deaths and was the third leading cause of death in 2020, after heart disease and cancer. Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. now top 550,000 since the start of the pandemic.
Covid-19 displaced suicide as one of the top 10 causes of death.
Deaths related to COVID-19 were higher among American Indian and Alaskan Native persons, Hispanics, Blacks and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander persons than whites. Among nearly all these ethnic and racial minority groups, the COVID-19 related deaths were more than double the death rate of non-Hispanic white persons.
In a separate report, the CDC responded to concerns about deaths being misattributed to Coved-19. The agency took a close look at death certificates, finding that most that listed Covid-19 also named other contributing problems. They included conditions such as diabetes, known to increase the danger of severe disease, or conditions such as pneumonia that occurred in the chain of events leading to the deaths.
Only about 5% of the death certificates listed only Covid-19, and that was more frequently the case when the person died at home.
The agency said its review confirmed the accuracy of the death count for the coronavirus.