A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday finds that life expectancy in the United States dropped by a staggering full year during the first half of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic caused its first wave of deaths.
The life expectancy dropped from 78.8 years for the average American in 2019 to 77.8 years for the first half of 2020. Health officials expect the trend to worsen once numbers for the full year are available.
The CDC says the nation has not seen such a big decline since World War II.
People of color suffered the biggest impact in mortality changes. Black people lost nearly three years of life expectancy, falling from 74.7 years to 72 years, and Hispanics lost nearly two years from 81.8 years to 79.9 years.
Statistics show that Black and Hispanic people are contracting and dying of the virus at higher rates than other Americans, as the pandemic has further exacerbated inequalities that were already inherent in the U.S. health system.