Pandemic caused 18 percent rise in deaths in US: study

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The coronavirus pandemic in the US claimed at least 122,000 more lives than would be expected in a normal year, for a rise of 18 percent, says a study released Wednesday.

But this is just a national average, and the excess death rate was particularly high in virus hot spots such as New York City, which buried three times more people than usual and up to seven times as many during the peak of the pandemic, according to a week by week study carried out at Yale University and published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

In New York City, the expected deaths under a demographic model based on statistics from previous years would be 13,000 from March 1 through the end of May. But this time the number of deaths recorded was 38,170.

What is more, throughout the first phase of the pandemic in the US the official COVID-19 death toll was widely underestimated, the statistics in this study show.

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