A deadly scourge killed almost 100,000 Americans in 2020: alcohol.
During the first year of the pandemic, per a new report from the National Institutes of Health, 99,017 people died of alcohol-related deaths (including fatalities from accidents and liver disease). 74,408 of the dead were aged 16 to 64.
That same year, 74,075 people under 65 died of COVID.
You read that right: For under-65s, booze was deadlier than COVID in 2020.
The data are awful no matter how you slice them. Alcohol-related deaths rose for absolutely everyone that year: all genders, all races and ethnicities. The overall year-over-year increase was 25% (as opposed to a 16.6% rise in all causes of death). Look just at younger adults, aged 25 to 44, and the alcohol-fatality rise was horrifying — nearly 40%.
The average annual increase over the prior 20 years? 3.6%
So 2020, in terms of alcohol deaths, was about seven times as deadly as the average year since 2009. Total alcohol sales by volume were up 2.9% year on year, the biggest annual jump since the late ’60s.
Worse, what data there is for 2021 suggests these deaths stayed high. One author of the report suggested it might be the “new norm.”
This comes on the back of also-terrible stats on drug overdoses — which, in a wave driven by opioids and supercharged by fentanyl, killed more than 100,000 Americans in the 12 months ending in April 2021. Those deaths were also highly concentrated among the young; blacks and Native Americans got hit the hardest.
Just as with the deadly opioid epidemic, there’s a curious silence on the alcohol-death wave from a media obsessed with using COVID to justify increasingly insane set-pieces of hygiene theater.
Perhaps that’s because the extremists’ favored anti-COVID policies — which wrecked economies, immiserated millions and prevented addicts from seeking treatment and help — played a starring role in this tragedy.
Each month brings fresh proof that shutdowns and other restrictions did far more harm than good. It’s time for politicos and public-health “experts” to own up to their mistakes — and to the guilt they bear for all those lost lives.