Mike Stobe
Associated Press

December 21, 2021

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials say 2021 is shaping up to be even deadlier than last year.

It’s too early to say for sure, since all the death reports for November and December won’t be in for many weeks. But based on available information, it seems likely 2021 will surpass last year’s record number of deaths by at least 15,000, said Robert Anderson, who oversees the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s death statistics.

Last year was the most lethal in U.S. history, due largely to the COVID-19 pandemic. A CDC report being released Wednesday shows 2020 was actually even worse than the agency previously reported. 

The report presents a final tally for last year of about 3.384 million U.S. deaths, about 25,000 more than a provisional count released earlier this year. Such jumps between provisional and final numbers are common, but 2020′s difference was higher than usual because of a lag in death records from some states that switched to new electronic reporting systems, Anderson said.

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