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Covid Helped Pull Down U.S. Lifespans by Most in 75 Years

  • Disease became a top cause of death in pandemic’s first year
  • Virus accounted for 10% of the 3.4 million U.S. deaths in 2020
A line outside a Covid-19 testing site in New York on Dec. 20.

A line outside a Covid-19 testing site in New York on Dec. 20.

Photographer: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg

Life expectancy in the US dropped by the most in more than 75 years in 2020, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the country.

The disease caused by the coronavirus was the third-leading cause of death in 2020, behind only heart disease and cancer, the CDC said in a report released Wednesday examining annual mortality numbers in the U.S.