CDC reports over 93,000 overdose deaths in 2020, highest rate in U.S. history
ATLANTA, Georgia, July 19, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — New provisional data released by the CDC Wednesday indicates that more than 93,000 Americans died from drug overdoses during 2020 amid unprecedented lockdowns, job losses, and delayed medical care. The number is the highest recorded in American history.
According to the CDC, an estimated 93,331 Americans died of drug overdoses between January and December 2020, compared with roughly 72,000 reported last year, an increase of almost 30 percent.
As reported by Breitbart, the data translate to 256 deaths a day, or 11 deaths every hour.
According to Breitbart’s analysis of the CDC data, “[o]nly two states, New Hampshire and South Dakota, experienced fewer drug overdoses last year than the year prior. Meanwhile, Vermont suffered a nearly 60 percent increase in drug overdoses in 2020 compared to 2019, along with a 52 percent increase in South Carolina and a 54 percent increase in Kentucky.”
Preliminary data published by San Francisco’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner last year found that more than twice as many of the city’s residents died of drug overdoses than from COVID-19 in 2020, with 708 recorded overdose deaths and 254 coronavirus-related deaths.
The CDC found a “concerning acceleration” of overdose deaths spiking between March 2020 and May 2020 when lockdowns, layoffs, social-distancing requirements, and other restrictions began to be imposed throughout the U.S.
“This is a staggering loss of human life,” Brandon Marshall, a Brown University public health researcher told the Associated Press (AP).
Marshall, who tracks overdose trends in his professional work, said “COVID has greatly exacerbated the crisis.”
The AP cited experts who have concluded that “[l]ockdowns and other pandemic restrictions isolated those with drug addictions and made treatment harder to get.”
A working paper published December 2020 by Casey Mulligan, Ph.D., a Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago who served as chief economist for the Council of Economic Advisers during the Trump administration, suggested that lockdowns and social-distancing requirements might have contributed to the steep rise of "deaths of despair" last year, including suicides and drug overdoses.
According to Mulligan, “Local data on opioid overdoses further support the hypothesis that the pandemic and recession were associated with a 10 to 60 percent increase in deaths of despair above already high pre-pandemic levels.”
Glenn Greenwald, co-founding editor of The Intercept and a former columnist for the Guardian, said in a twitter thread July 15 that there has “been a taboo on urging recognition of the costs not only of COVID but also the other side of the ledger: isolation, lockdown, economic and social desolation, etc.”
“Even now, urging a return to normalcy -- on the ground that excessive restrictions also kill -- is scorned,” Greenwald said.
As noted by Brietbart, virologist and former CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D., also identified the “disruption to daily life due to the COVID-19 pandemic” as a significant factor leading to increased overdose deaths.
“As we continue the fight to end this pandemic, it’s important to not lose sight of different groups being affected in other ways,” Redfield said. “We need to take care of people suffering from unintended consequences.”
Drugs identified in cases of overdose deaths include fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine, with fentanyl identified in over 60 percent of last year’s overdose deaths according to CDC data.
Compared with recorded deaths measured from June 2018 to June 2019, opioid overdose deaths, especially those involving illicit fentanyl, increased by 38 percent from June 2019 to June 2020 months, the CDC reported.
Fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin, is rapidly becoming a “drug of choice” for smugglers bringing illegal drugs across the U.S. border, according to NBC. Federal agents in El Paso, Texas, told the outlet fentanyl seizures have increased by 4,000 percent over the past three years.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said in June that there is “no question” drug cartel activity from Mexico is pouring into the United States amid the ongoing border crisis. Under the Biden administration illegal border crossings have skyrocketed 674 percent above last year, with the number of illegal crossings increasing each month.
According to the AP some experts suggest that given the proliferation of synthetic opioids, especially illicit fentanyl, the record rate of overdose deaths recorded last year is not likely to substantially decline this year.
News of last year’s overdose death toll comes as health officials, members of the media, and politicians continue to generate anxiety about variants of the coronavirus, which they allege are more contagious than the original strain.
Signalling a possible return to the kind of isolating measures imposed upon Americans during 2020, California’s Los Angeles County recently announced it was reimposing its indoor mask mandate for both vaccinated and unvaccinated Californians.
It is unclear whether shelter-in-place orders will follow as public health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci continue to issue warnings about the allegedly more dangerous “Delta variant.”
Addiction, which leads to these overdose deaths, is a disease that comes from lack of connection, community, purpose, spirituality, fulfillment. Obviously, lockdown, joblessness and isolation make it so much worse.— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 15, 2021
Always erring on the side of COVID safetyism is dangerous.
“Always erring on the side of COVID safetyism is dangerous,” Greenwald suggested in his twitter thread.
“Addiction, which leads to these overdose deaths, is a disease that comes from lack of connection, community, purpose, spirituality, fulfillment. Obviously, lockdown, joblessness and isolation make it so much worse.”