To be clear, there was a bit of a qualifying clause, as the report said that COVID-19 was the primary or contributing cause of 377,883 deaths in the United States last year, with a particularly high toll among the elderly.
The COVID-19 mortality rate made it the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2020 after heart disease and cancer, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis found.
The CDC said that the overall U.S. mortality rate increased for the first time since 2017, by nearly 16%, to 3,358,814 deaths. The jump was driven by COVID-19, which accounted for an increase of 11.3%.
The overall death rate was lowest among children aged 5 to 14 years, and highest among people over age 85, which makes sense. The COVID-19 death rate was highest among Hispanics, followed by Black non-Hispanics.
Provisional estimates from the CDC, published last month, showed that life expectancy in the U.S. fell by a year in the first half of 2020 – the biggest decline since World War 2 – and stood at the lowest levels since 2006.