• David Wallace-Wells has another must-read piece in the NY Times: “It’s Not ‘Deaths of Despair.’ It’s Deaths of Children”
“Americans are now dying younger on average than they used to, breaking from all global and historical patterns of predictable improvement. They are dying younger than in any peer countries, even accounting for the larger impact of the pandemic here. They are dying younger than in China, Cuba, the Czech Republic or Lebanon.
One in 25 American 5-year-olds now won’t live to see 40, a death rate about four times as high as in other wealthy nations.
Mortality is still increasing more quickly for those without a college degree, but as John Burn-Murdoch demonstrated vividly in The Financial Times, except for a few superrich Americans, individuals at every percentile of income are now dying sooner than their counterparts in Britain, for instance. For the poorer half of the country, simply being an American is equivalent to about four full years of life lost compared with the average Brit.
Black Americans, on average, can expect to live five fewer years than white Americans; Black American men have lower life expectancies than men in Rwanda, Laos and North Korea. White Americans, in turn, can expect to live seven fewer years than Asian Americans. Life expectancy in the Black Belt of the Deep South is as much as 20 years lower than it is north of the Mason-Dixon line and west of the Mississippi, according to the American Inequality Project.
The horror is that, as Burn-Murdoch memorably put it, in the average American kindergarten at least one child can expect to be buried by his or her parents.”
Wallace-Wells also refers to this viewpoint article published in JAMA Network by Woolf, Wolf, and Rivera.