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Nursing home deaths drop

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There are two encouraging news about the pandemic – and two disturbing developments. Let’s take them one at a time, starting with the positive.

They fell by more than 60% between the end of December and the beginning of February. The main cause is simple: Nursing home residents were among the first to get vaccinated.

This graphic – from my colleagues Matthew Conlen, Sarah Mervosh and Danielle Ivory – tells the story:

This is another sign of the potency of vaccines. The decline in deaths has happened surprisingly quickly, said Dr Sunil Parikh, epidemiologist at Yale University. This has happened even though most residents and nursing home workers have yet to receive their two vaccines – and it has likely continued over the past two weeks, which is not illustrated in this graph.

“I’m almost at a loss for words to see how amazing it is and how exciting it is,” said Dr. David Gifford, chief medical officer of the American Health Care Association, which represents healthcare facilities. long-term care.

Nursing home data adds to the evidence that vaccines don’t just work in research trials – they work in the real world, too. (A new study on Israel, published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine, offered the same message.)

The Food and Drug Administration released a report on a vaccine it has yet to approve – from Johnson & Johnson – and the data was overwhelmingly positive.

Like the two vaccines that are already given in the United States – from Moderna and Pfizer – Johnson & Johnson ruled out both death and hospitalization in its research trial: about 20,000 people received the vaccine in the trial, and not a single one was hospitalized with Covid -19 symptoms a month later.

“I will never cease to be amazed to see zero hospitalizations among those vaccinated, study after study,” Dr Aaron Richterman of the University of Pennsylvania wrote. “It’s amazing.” Dr Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease expert, called the results “formidable.” Dr Kavita Patel wrote: “I would definitely recommend it for me and my patients.”

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has also significantly reduced the number of moderate and asymptomatic Covid cases. He hasn’t eliminated them, but vaccines don’t need to eliminate all cases of Covid to end the crisis. A sharp reduction – and a sharper reduction in severe cases – can eventually turn this terrible coronavirus into another manageable virus.

(Nursing home data also helps make this point: The number of confirmed cases has fallen by more than 80%, which is even more important than the drop in deaths.)

One of the main advantages of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is that it only requires one injection, which makes it easier to administer than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which require two. An FDA committee will meet on Friday and the agency may approve the vaccine soon after.

The number of new cases has stopped falling in the United States:

The same is happening all over the world:

I don’t want to overreact to a week of data. But you can see a change in these lines. The most likely explanation is the more contagious variants of the virus, such as the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first detected in Britain.

Tellingly, cases first stopped falling in much of Europe, where this variant is more prevalent. A senior health official in Germany on Friday warned that the country could be heading for another “turning point” after weeks of falling infections.

It’s a reminder that the pandemic is far from over. The variants have the potential to cause new epidemics, especially if unvaccinated people become lax when it comes to wearing masks and social distancing.

This is not a good trend:

Storms last week are the main cause of the slowdown in vaccination, having temporarily closed sites and delayed vaccine shipments. Whatever the reason, however, it will have consequences: fewer vaccinations mean more deaths.

The Biden administration’s biggest task over the next two months is to ramp up the pace from the current 1.4 million vaccines per day to around three million per day.

Other Covid developments:

  • The federal government is supporting the testing of an online portal to help the public find vaccines.

  • Moderna said he would test modified vaccines to protect against a variant first discovered in South Africa.

  • A new variant is spreading in New York, researchers say.

  • Ghana and other West African countries will start vaccinating people as part of Covax, a global vaccine-sharing initiative. But as rich countries buy most of the supply, inequalities persist.

  • Corruption scandals reveal how powerful and well-connected people in South America have skipped the vaccination line.

  • President Biden has appointed three people to the board of directors of the United States Postal Service. If confirmed, they would give Democrats the power to oust Louis DeJoy, the post general manager appointed by President Donald Trump.

  • Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, said the economic fallout from the pandemic had disproportionately affected women and suggested that improved child care policies could help the economy.

  • Repairing damage from the Capitol Riot – including overturned 19th-century lanterns and damaged busts – could cost more than $ 30 million.

  • Biden lifted the green card freeze, ending the Trump administration’s ban on legal immigration.

In 2005, the New Oxford American Dictionary named “podcast” – a broadcast and iPod coat rack – its word of the year. Some saw it as an odd choice, as the Chicago Tribune reported: “Few of us have met him and he certainly hasn’t gained the public visibility that makes him a defining word of 2005.”

The industry has come a long way. You can now choose from around two million podcasts. Celebrities and past presidents have flocked to the medium. Big companies like Amazon and Spotify have invested large sums of money in podcasting. And Hollywood reclaims the rights to the shows, turning them into TV series.

To make sense of it all, The Times is publishing a series on podcasting this morning. It includes: Ben Sisario on the state of the industry; Margaret Lyons on the advantages of podcasting over television; Jemele Hill and other podcasters offer recommendations and interviews with kids who already present their own shows.

Yesterday’s Spelling Bee pangram was anarchic. Here is today’s puzzle – or you can play it online.

Here are today’s mini-crosswords and a hint: Coffee Additive (five letters).

If you want to play more, find all of our games here.


Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. – David

PS The New York Times published a report calling for changes to make his workplace more diverse and inclusive.

You can see the first printed page of the day here.

Today’s episode of “The Daily” is about Merrick Garland. On “Sway”, Kara Swisher interviews Sacha Baron Cohen.

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Travel News

Entering uncharted territory, the United States counts 500,000 deaths linked to Covid.

The virus has reached all corners of America, devastating dense cities and rural counties with surges that have passed through one region and then another.

In New York City, more than 28,000 people have died from the virus – that’s about one in 295 people. In Los Angeles County, the toll is about one in 500 people. In Lamb County, Texas, where 13 live 000 people scattered over a vast area of ​​1,000 square miles, the loss is one in 163 people.

The virus has torn apart nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, easily spreading among vulnerable residents: they are responsible for more than 163,000 deaths, about a third of the country’s total.

Deaths from the virus have also disproportionately affected Americans along racial lines. Overall, the death rate for black Americans with Covid-19 has been almost twice that of white Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Hispanics’ death rate was 2.3 times that of white Americans. And for Native Americans, it was 2.4 times higher.

As of Monday, around 1,900 Covid deaths were reported, on average, almost every day, compared to more than 3,300 at peaks in January. The slowdown has been a relief, but scientists said the variants made it difficult to project the future of the pandemic, and historians have warned against hijacking the scale of the country’s losses.

“There will be a real willingness to say, ‘Look how we’re doing,'” said Nancy Bristow, director of the history department at Puget Sound University in Tacoma, Wash., And author of “American Pandemic: The Worlds lost from the 1918 flu epidemic. ”But she cautioned against inclinations now to“ rewrite this story in another story of American triumph. ”

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Ripple effect of loss: American Covid deaths approach 500,000

“I can still see it over there,” said Mr. Jones, the pastor. “It never goes away.”

There’s a street corner in Plano, Texas that was occupied by Bob Manus, a veteran crossbreed who drove kids to school for 16 years, until he fell ill in December.

In the Twin Cities of Minnesota, LiHong Burdick, 72, another victim of the coronavirus, is absent from the groups she cherished: one to play bridge, another for mahjong and another to polish her English.

In his empty townhouse, the holiday decorations are still in place. There are cards lined up on the fireplace.

“You walk in and it smells like her,” said her son, Keith Bartram. “Seeing the chair she was sitting on, the random things around the house, it’s really surreal. I went there yesterday and had a little breakdown. It’s hard to be in there, when it feels like she should be there, but she isn’t.

The virus has reached all corners of America, devastating dense cities and rural counties. Currently, about one in 670 Americans has died from it.

In New York City, more than 28,000 people have died from the virus – that’s one in 295 people. In Los Angeles County, which has lost nearly 20,000 people to Covid-19, about one in 500 people have died from the virus . In Lamb County, Texas, home to 13,000 people scattered over a vast expanse of 1,000 square miles, one in 163 people have died from the virus.

Across America, the holes in communities, pierced by sudden death, have remained.

In Anaheim, California, Monica Alvarez looks at the kitchen of the house she shared with her parents and thinks of her father, Jose Roberto Alvarez.

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Covid restrictions could lead to avalanche deaths, experts say

Avalanche deaths tend to occur at the crossroads of science and human nature.

The conditions are mostly dictated by the snowpack, the danger often hidden far beneath the fresh powder – out of sight and, at times, out of mind. Humans are drawn to the promise of fresh air and fluffy snow.

This winter, however, an additional factor could be contributing to a sudden increase in the number of deaths: Covid-19.

At least 14 people died in seven avalanches during the first week of February. It was the highest number of recreation-related deaths in avalanches in the United States for at least a century, experts said.

The death toll rose in Washington on Monday, when a 51-year-old man who cycled on snow was buried in an avalanche and later found dead.

“The snowpack is the main reason – people die because it’s very dangerous,” said Simon Trautman, avalanche specialist for the National Avalanche Center of the US Forest Service. “The question is the effect of the second or third order. I don’t know, but what I do know is that there are more people this year because of Covid. There is no doubt about it.

Avalanche experts say this season would be dangerous without a pandemic. Early snow followed by a dry spell over much of the west created a weak first layer of snow. Recent storms have dumped huge, heavy loads on top of this weak layer – snow that attracts people outside, but also threatens to shatter the support below, sending it all downhill in a battle of physics between gravity and friction.

A single misstep on a slope silently ready to give way can be the narrow line between thrill and tragedy.

An average of about 25 people have died in avalanches in the United States each winter for the past decade. This season, through Sunday, 21 have died, according to reports compiled by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

Deadly avalanches are almost always triggered by humans. The people captured there are usually among those who inadvertently set the snow in motion.

Eight backcountry skiers were caught in an avalanche in Utah on Saturday; four died. That same day, a group of Montana snowmobilers were trapped in a slide that killed one of them.

Earlier last week, three Colorado skiers were killed in an avalanche. The next day, an avalanche killed three hikers in Alaska. A day later, two people in California were buried and one died.

Experts are analyzing the anecdotal evidence, looking for answers beyond the scientific danger of this winter’s snowpack.

“It’s difficult to make a direct connection with Covid, but I think we can make an indirect connection,” said Karl Birkeland, director of the National Avalanche Center. “Across the country, we have seen a continuation of what we saw this summer, that more and more people are coming to our public lands. This winter we have seen more and more people heading out into the backcountry, whether on skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles. And with more people, you have a greater potential for people to get involved in avalanches. “

Most of the victims were lived in the hinterland, experts said, shattering any presumption that they are new adventurers, ill-equipped and desperate for socially remote outdoor pursuits. Most were men in their 40s and 50s, though the victims Saturday in Utah were all in their 20s and included two women. The victims had the recommended safety equipment of beacons, probes and shovels, according to avalanche investigations.

The eight victims in Colorado this winter were men over 40. All but one had considerable backcountry experience, according to Ethan Greene, director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

And while a few accidents have occurred just outside ski areas, where chair lifts and loose boundaries allow quick access to enticing powder runs (called ‘sidecountry’), most have occurred in remote areas requiring hikes or climbs.

This has led some experts to speculate that experienced backcountry skiers, looking to get away from this season’s unusual crowds, are sinking deeper into unfamiliar terrain, all in extremely dangerous conditions.

“It’s a lot of guesswork, but it’s really part of the discussion we’re having around this stuff,” Birkeland said.

There is also speculation that nearly a year of restrictions linked to the coronavirus, which causes Covid-19 disease, could make people more apt to take risks. On January 30, a 57-year-old expert skier died in an avalanche outside the boundaries of Park City Mountain Resort.

His ski partner, who witnessed the slide and was unable to save it, said the coronavirus pandemic “has had an impact”.

“I now realize that I am exhausted after more than 10 months of almost constant stress that Covid brings to me worrying about my family, friends, job, etc.,” said the partner, who did not been identified in the accident report. “In addition to financial stress, school closures, lack of physical contact with family members / friends etc. As a result, my typical training, motivation and mental thinking were much lower than a normal fall / winter.

Such correlations are imprecise. In Europe, where an average of 100 people die in avalanches each winter, 56 have died this season. This is one more than all last winter, but well below the 128 deaths in 2017-2018.

The head of the Swiss Association of Mountain Guides told reporters last month that Covid could bore the decision-making process of backcountry skiers, who may be too eager to get out and tired of limited free time by virus rules.

Greene, of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, thinks there may be something to this, exacerbating what he calls the unique conditions of this year’s snowpack.

“The environment we are all in is stressful,” said Greene. “It affects your interactions with people at the grocery store, and it also affects the way you make decisions when you’re in avalanche terrain.”

Mistakes in the backcountry don’t have to be serious to be fatal.

Normally, the difference from season to season is almost entirely based on the snowpack, which can vary widely from slope to slope, depending on complex combinations of slope angle, sunlight. , wind, temperature and other factors. (A common factor: Most avalanches occur on slopes with slopes between 30 and 45 degrees. Steeper snowfall and snowfall usually does not accumulate in the necessary amounts. Any shallower snow and snow often does not move under gravity.)

Avalanche forecasting is done locally – by about 65 full-time forecasters, most of whom work for the US Forest Service or the State of Colorado.

Conditions in the Colorado Rockies could be completely different from, say, the Washington Cascades or California’s Sierra Nevada.

But this season was unusual in that a huge swath of the West received a similar dump of early snow that was left exposed to the elements for weeks. This created, in general terms, a thin layer of fragile, sweet crystals.

Like a house built on a bad foundation, the rest of this season’s snowpack sits precariously above this layer.

The National Avalanche Center compiles the latest forecasts in an interactive map on its home page.

“The past week has been fascinating, because as the storms rolled on you could just see different parts of the country light up and turn red, or even black, which is the highest level of danger. higher, ”Trautman said. “You can see this wave of instability and danger spreading through the central part of the West. It’s not that it doesn’t happen at other times, but the way this one happened was very dramatic.

And deadly. As the bigger storms have passed, for now, the light snow cover will likely last all season. This is the science.

The human nature part of the equation is the variable that will determine how many more lives will be lost.

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The impact of teacher deaths

For a few happy months, our kids spent their days at school and with friends, not with us and on screens. Then we added a ‘variant’ to our lexicon, with the shocking rise of a much more transmissible version of the coronavirus. On December 19, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson canceled Christmas. The stores were closed and it was forbidden to meet other people.

The government said schools would reopen on January 4, and some did – for a day (not ours). Then the government made another U-turn and closed all schools at least until February, although they remain open to children of frontline workers. We are now told that my daughters’ schools will be closed at least until early March.

The variant is very real. Last March, only the doctors we knew came down with Covid; in December, everyone seemed to have it: couples, kids, whole families. From 500 cases a day in August, British cases have exploded to around 60,000 a day – and nearly 1,500 deaths.

My kids dreaded home school 2.0. But humans are adaptable creatures, and children even more so. Teachers are more comfortable teaching online and children are more independent. They always feel lonely: When I asked my 10 year old daughter what she needed as she crawled next to me on a Zoom call, she replied, “Company”. It was like she was saying, “I need humans and you, the working ones, SUCK.”

Recently the numbers have come down a bit: the seven-day average for cases hovers around 33,000. The UK’s vaccination plan is going pretty well: among people aged 80 and over, four in five have been vaccinated. But deaths remain stubbornly high and the National Health Service is on its knees.

The weather is still bad, the parents are extremely stressed and the children are falling behind. But we opened schools once and I bet it will happen again. Some days we are terrified, other days we grab silver linings. The sun now sets after 5 p.m., over an hour later than at the end of December. A small victory, the result of nothing more than the passage of time, but one that we will take.


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How 425,000 coronavirus deaths have been added

February 29
The first known death in the United States from coronavirus is reported in Washington state.

March 14
· New York City records its first death from the virus.

March 26
The United States overtakes China as the country with the best-known cases of the coronavirus, and for the first time in New York, more than 100 patients die in one day.

April 7
· More than 2,000 deaths are reported in a single day in the United States for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

April 15
· The United States reports 2,752 deaths in one day, a record that will continue until December. Almost half are in the New York area.

May 4
Florida is reopening its restaurants, becoming one of the few states to reopen after spring closings.

May 19
For the first time since the end of March, the average number of deaths per day in New York City falls below 100.

1st of July
· Metro Phoenix is ​​reporting a record 3,759 cases in one day. Epidemics are increasing in Florida, Texas and other Sun Belt states, many of which have reopened earlier than elsewhere in the United States.

July 16
· The US case curve peaks at over 75,000 reported cases in one day.

August 16
· The average number of daily deaths peaks in Texas, where nearly 3,000 have died in the past two weeks. The record will hold until December.

Sep 12
· The average number of new cases in the United States per day hits a low last reached in June and never seen since.

October 25
· More than 50,000 people have tested positive for the virus in Wisconsin in the previous two weeks. The epidemic there will continue to grow for several weeks.

November 14
· Cases peak in North Dakota, where one in 40 residents has tested positive in just the past two weeks.

December 9
· The number of deaths reported in one day exceeds 3,000 for the first time.

January 7
· More than 4,000 deaths are reported in a single day in the United States, a new record.

January 15th
· Almost 4,000 deaths were reported in California in the previous week alone.

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Texas Hostage Standoff Ends in 2 Deaths at Austin Doctor’s Office

Two people were found dead in a doctor’s office in Austin, Texas on Tuesday night following a hostage situation that ended after more than five hours, according to police and local media.

It is not immediately clear how many people were held hostage or who took them hostage. According to local reports, a doctor appears to have been one of the hostages.

Police said the standoff began on Tuesday afternoon, when they were told a man with a gun was inside the central Austin doctor’s office, the chain reported. KSAT television. Members of the SWAT team were seen on a nearby street negotiating with the gunman through a megaphone, according to reporters at the scene.

Moments after police announced they were sending a robot, Jody barr, a reporter for KXAN television, wrote on Twitter that he heard “loud explosions” and what sounded like gunshots in the building.

“Silence since,” he added.

Austin police later said on twitter that the “SWAT situation” was over. He said two people were pronounced dead at the site.

Police said their homicide unit would provide more information on Wednesday morning.

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The number of deaths from the virus in the United States has exceeded 400,000.

More than 400,000 people in the United States with the coronavirus have died, according to data compiled by The New York Times on Tuesday, as the anniversary of the country’s first known death in the pandemic approaches.

The rate at which Americans are dying accelerated during the fall and winter, reaching record levels in January. For a few weeks this month, the average daily death toll exceeded 3,300, more than the number killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Tuesday’s heartbreaking milestone came a day after the United States surpassed 24 million total cases.

The deadliest day in the pandemic to date was January 12, when more than 4,400 deaths were reported. Unlike the early days of the outbreak in the United States, which was concentrated in a handful of major cities, mostly in the northeast, this surge is widespread. Arizona, California, South Carolina, New York and Oklahoma had reported the most new cases per capita in the previous week on Monday. Much of the latest wave has been attributed to the gathering of people over the holidays, from Thanksgiving to New Years Eve.

The time taken to record each 100,000 deaths has dramatically decreased since the nation’s first known death from Covid-19, which occurred in Santa Clara County, Calif., On February 6, 2020. The first 100,000 deaths in the United States were confirmed by May 27; it then took the nation four months to register an additional 100,000 deaths; the next, about three months; the last, only five weeks.

Public health experts don’t expect death rates to peak until the end of the month. By the end of February, the death toll could reach 500,000, a figure that would have seemed unthinkable a year ago. Dr Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, estimated in March that up to 240,000 Americans could lose their lives, a huge figure that is still far from the reality.

The United States has recorded more deaths from the virus than any other country in the world. In total, New York alone recorded over 40,000

death. In all, more than two million people have died from the virus worldwide, a number which is almost certainly an undercount.

Responsibility for the huge loss of American lives, many experts say, lies in the failed leadership of President Trump, whose administration politicized the use of masks and left states to implement a patchwork of inconsistent measures who have not controlled the virus.

“It’s not that he was just incompetent,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University professor of environmental health sciences who modeled the spread of the virus. “He made something that could very easily have turned into a point of patriotism, pride and national unity – protecting your neighbors, protecting your loved ones, protecting your community – into a matter of division, as he has. habit, and it cost people their lives. “

By comparison, Vietnam, a nation of 97 million people, has only confirmed 35 virus-related deaths, Dr Shaman added.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., due to be inaugurated on Wednesday, called for an aggressive national strategy to defeat the virus, including increasing the availability of Covid-19 vaccines, although he has not committed to a federal government. mandate mask.

“You have my word that we will handle the hell of this operation,” Biden said Friday, pointing to the disproportionately deadly consequences of the virus for blacks, Latin Americans and Native Americans. “Our administration will lead with science and scientists.”

With the virus that has been rampant everywhere for so many months, hospitals have been stretched. In rural areas, doctors have sometimes been unable to transfer seriously ill patients to larger medical centers for more sophisticated treatment.

As of Monday, the seven-day average of cases in the United States was 200,000 per day, although it has started to decline in recent weeks. Hospitalizations have finally started to stabilize and hit their lowest level since January 2 on Sunday. In the Midwest, hit by its worst surge in the fall, the number of cases has fallen sharply in recent weeks, but that increase appears to be slowing.

However, new variants of the virus, some of which make it more transmissible, could soon spread and threaten to increase infections again.

“There is no clear end in sight in the near future,” said Ira M. Longini Jr., professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida.

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One year, 400,000 deaths from coronavirus: how the United States guaranteed its own failure

New president Joseph R. Biden Jr. has said he will reaffirm a federal strategy to bring the virus under control, including a call for everyone to wear masks over the next 100 days and a coordinated plan to expand delivery of vaccines. “We are going to handle the hell of this operation,” Biden said Friday. “Our administration will lead with science and scientists.”

The strategy signals a change from last year, in which the Trump administration largely delegated responsibility for controlling the virus and reopening the economy to 50 governors, fracturing the nation’s response. Interviews with more than 100 health officials, political and community leaders across the country, and a review of state government emails and other records provide a more complete picture of all that went wrong:

  • The severity of the current outbreak can be attributed to the rush to reopen last spring. Many governors acted quickly, sometimes acting over the objections of their advisers. Nationwide reopenings have resulted in a surge in new infections that have grown over time: never again would the country’s average fall below 20,000 new cases per day.

  • Science has been sidelined at all levels of government. More than 100 state and local health officials have been fired or resigned since the start of the pandemic. Leading scientists in Florida offered their expertise to the governor’s office but were marginalized, while Gov. Ron DeSantis turned to Dr. Scott W. Atlas, an adviser to Trump, and others whose views have been adopted in conservative circles but rejected by many scientists.

  • While the president publicly downplayed the need for masks, White House officials privately recommended that some states with worsening epidemics require a face mask in public spaces. But records show at least 26 states ignored White House recommendations on masks and other health concerns. In South Dakota, housekeeper Kristi Noem bragged to her political allies that she didn’t need masks even as her state was in the midst of an epidemic that has become one of the worst in the country.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said states have faced tough choices in balancing the virus – often hearing competing voices on how best to do it – and said Mr Trump left them without political support which they needed as they urged the public to accept the masks. and social distancing. “The most important thing that would have made a difference was the clarity of the message from the person at the top,” Polis said in an interview.

The pandemic has indeed been accompanied by significant challenges, including record unemployment and a dynamic disease that continues to circle the globe. Without a national White House strategy, it is unlikely that any state could have completely stopped the spread of the pandemic.

But the majority of deaths in the United States have since come as the strategies needed to contain it were clear to state leaders, who had an array of options, from ordering masks to targeted closures and increased testing. Disparities emerged between states that took restrictions seriously and those that did not.

America now represents 4% of the world’s population, but accounts for about 20% of deaths worldwide. While Australia, Japan and South Korea have shown that it is possible to reduce the number of deaths, the United States – armed with wealth, scientific prowess and global power – has emerged as the world leader: they now have one of the highest concentrations of deaths, with nearly many deaths being reported as in any other country.

Spring

The country once had the chance to embark on the path to defeat the virus.

There had been many missteps in the beginning. The United States failed to create a large testing and contact tracing network in January and February, which could have identified the first cases and possibly curb the crisis. Then cases exploded silently in New York City, as Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio waited crucial days to shut down schools and businesses.

Thousands of lives could have been saved in the New York metropolitan area alone if measures had been in place even a week earlier, the researchers said. Driven by the spring rush, New York and New Jersey have the nation’s worst death rates to date.

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400,000 more deaths than normal in the United States since the Covid-19 strike




Higher and lower than normal weekly deaths in the United States since 2015

Since March, at least 400,000 more Americans have died than in a normal year, a sign of the great devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysis of mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows how the pandemic is causing unusual death patterns, even higher than official death totals directly related to the virus.

Deaths nationwide were 18 percent higher than normal from March 15, 2020 to December 26, 2020. Our numbers may be undercounted as recent death statistics are still being updated.

Our analysis looks at deaths from all causes – not just confirmed cases of coronavirus – from the time the virus took hold in the United States last spring. This allows for comparisons that do not depend on the accuracy of reporting causes of death, and includes deaths related to disturbances caused by the pandemic as well as the virus itself. Epidemiologists refer to deaths in the range between observed and normal numbers of deaths as “excess deaths.”

Public health researchers use such methods to measure the impact of catastrophic events when official measurements of mortality are wrong.

As the cases of Covid-19 spread across the country, geographic patterns of abnormal mortality statistics followed. Excessive deaths have so far peaked three times, as have deaths from Covid-19.

There are now excessive deaths in all states, with outbreaks in states like California, Colorado, Kansas and Ohio fueling record numbers of deaths in recent weeks.


Weekly deaths above and below normal since March 15, 2020


United States

March 15 – December 26

Alabama

March 15 – December 26

Alaska

March 15 – December 12

Arizona

March 15 – December 26

Arkansas

March 15 – December 26

California

March 15 – December 26

Colorado

March 15 – December 26

Connecticut

March 15 – November 28

Delaware

March 15 – December 12

Florida

March 15 – December 26

Georgia

March 15 – December 12

Hawaii

March 15 – December 19

Idaho

March 15 – December 26

Illinois

March 15 – December 26

Indiana

March 15 – December 19

Iowa

March 15 – December 26

Kansas

March 15 – December 26

Kentucky

March 15 – December 19

Louisiana

March 15 – December 12

Maine

March 15 – December 26

Maryland

March 15 – December 26

Massachusetts

March 15 – December 26

Michigan

March 15 – December 26

Minnesota

March 15 – December 26

Mississippi

March 15 – December 26

Missouri

March 15 – December 19

Montana

March 15 – December 26

Nebraska

March 15 – December 26

Nevada

March 15 – December 26

New Hampshire

March 15 – December 26

New Jersey

March 15 – December 26

New Mexico

March 15 – December 19

New York (outside NYC)

March 15 – December 26

New York City

March 15 – December 26

North Carolina

March 15 – September 5

North Dakota

March 15 – December 26

Ohio

March 15 – December 19

Oklahoma

March 15 – December 19

Oregon

March 15 – December 19

Pennsylvania

March 15 – December 26

Porto Rico

March 15 – November 14

Rhode Island

March 15 – December 12

Caroline from the south

March 15 – December 26

South Dakota

March 15 – December 12

Tennessee

March 15 – December 26

Texas

March 15 – December 26

Utah

March 15 – December 26

Vermont

March 15 – December 26

Virginia

March 15 – December 26

Washington state

March 15 – December 19

Washington DC

March 15 – December 12

West Virginia

March 15 – November 21

Wisconsin

March 15 – December 26

Wyoming

March 15 – December 26


Counting deaths takes time, and many states are weeks or months behind in reporting. These CDC estimates are adjusted for the lag in mortality data from previous years. It will be several months before all these figures are finalized.

During the period of our analysis, the estimated additional deaths were 21% higher than the official number of coronavirus deaths. If this trend continued through January 14, the total death toll would be around 470,000.

By comparison, about 600,000 Americans die from cancer in a typical year. The number of unusual deaths for this period is higher than the typical number of annual deaths due to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or diabetes.

Measuring excess mortality does not tell us precisely how each person died. Most of the additional deaths during this period are due to the coronavirus itself. But it’s also possible that deaths from other causes have also increased, as hospitals in some hot spots are overwhelmed and people have been afraid to seek care for illnesses that can usually survive. Some causes of death may be on the decline as people stay indoors, drive less, and limit contact with others.

Drug deaths also rose sharply in the first half of 2020, according to preliminary CDC mortality data through June of last year, a trend that began before the onset of the pandemic. coronavirus.

Methodology

Total numbers of deaths are estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which are based on death certificates counted by the centers and adjusted for typical delays in reporting deaths. The coronavirus death numbers come from the New York Times database with reports from local and state health agencies and hospitals. Covid-19-related deaths include both confirmed and probable deaths from the virus.

Our charts show higher or lower than normal weekly deaths. They include the weeks in which the CDC estimates the data to be at least 90% complete or the estimated deaths are greater than the expected numbers of deaths. Because states vary somewhat in their speed of reporting deaths to the federal government, these state charts show trends in deaths for slightly different time periods. We did not include weeks in which reported deaths were less than 50% of the CDC estimate.

Expected deaths were calculated using a simple model based on the weekly number of deaths from all causes from 2015 to 2019, adjusted for trends, such as population changes, over time.

The numbers of excess deaths are rounded.