Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: US life expectancy drops a year in pandemic, most since WWII

New York News
NEW YORK (WABC) — Life expectancy in the United States dropped a staggering one year during the first half of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic caused its first wave of deaths, health officials are reporting.

Minorities suffered the biggest impact, with Black Americans losing nearly three years and Hispanics, nearly two years, according to preliminary estimates Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This is a huge decline,” said Robert Anderson, who oversees the numbers for the CDC. “You have to go back to World War II, the 1940s, to find a decline like this.”

Life expectancy is how long a baby born today can expect to live, on average. In the first half of last year, that was 77.8 years for Americans overall, down one year from 78.8 in 2019. For males it was 75.1 years and for females, 80.5 years.

As a group, Hispanics in the U.S. have had the most longevity and still do. Black people now lag white people by six years in life expectancy, reversing a trend that had been bringing their numbers closer since 1993.

Between 2019 and the first half of 2020, life expectancy decreased 2.7 years for Black people, to 72. It dropped 1.9 years for Hispanics, to 79.9, and 0.8 years for white people, to 78. The preliminary report did not analyze trends for Asian or Native Americans.

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Here are more of today’s headlines:

Thursday opening of vaccine sites delayed
Due to the COVID vaccine supply shortage and shipments delayed by storms, NYC is delaying the opening of vaccination sites at Empire Outlets on Staten Island and Martin Van Buren High School in Queens that were originally planned for Thursday.

“I cannot be clearer: we have the infrastructure in place to deliver half a million doses per week,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “All that’s missing is the supply to get it done. We need our the pharmaceutical companies to step-up and give us the doses we need to vaccinate the people of our city. There is not a moment to waste.”

FBI investigating Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes, sources tell ABC News
The FBI and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are investigating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus task force with a particular focus on his administration’s handling of nursing homes early in the pandemic, two sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The investigation, first reported by the Albany Times Union, is in its initial stages. Subpoenas have been issued, the sources said.

COVID vaccine site coming to Yonkers
Starting March 3, a COVID-19 mass vaccination site in Yonkers plans to deliver 1,000 COVID-19 shots per day. The joint New York State – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) vaccination effort will be located at the National Guard Armory building at North Broadway and Quincy Place. National Guard and CDC personnel will assist with staffing. The Yonkers site is one of four being set up in New York to get more residents living in socially vulnerable communities vaccinated.

The other sites are in Buffalo, Rochester and Albany. Yonkers residents who are eligible for the vaccine will be able to sign up for vaccination at the armory site.

Survivor helps cancer patients land COVID vaccine appointments
For those battling cancer, the pandemic has been a medical nightmare as they have been put in a new category for the COVID vaccine.

And like others, they have found the process of trying to get an appointment a battle of its own — so that’s where others have stepped in to help.

2 women start Facebook group for young COVID widows, widowers
The coronavirus pandemic has brought so much heartache and overwhelming loss to so many, but now, two women from New Jersey who lost their spouses are trying to help others who share their pain.

Weather wreaks havoc on NJ vax supply
The bad weather in the deep south and middle of the country has put a stranglehold on vaccine distribution in New Jersey, forcing officials in Bergen and Monmouth counties to push back appointments because the shipments haven’t arrived. Predictions of snow in our area Thursday could means more delays. Monmouth County Board of Commissioners Director Thomas Arnone said those with appointments at the two county sites are being notified and everyone is being rescheduled.

Long Island school goes remote after party-fueled COVID outbreak; 38 students positive
Less than one week after we profiled how a Long Island school was working to resume sports safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials announced a spike in cases that is forcing all-remote learning and the halting of all after-school activities.

Manhasset Superintendent Dr. Vincent Butera sent a letter to families saying the Manhasset Secondary School, a six-year high school and middle school, will be fully remote through at least February 26. All extracurricular activities and athletics are suspended until at least that time as well.

What to know about $15 minimum wage proposal in Biden’s COVID-19 stimulus package
President Joe Biden’s effort to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour could provide a welcome opportunity for someone like Cristian Cardona, a 21-year-old fast food worker. Cardona would love to earn enough to afford to move out of his parents’ house in Orlando, Florida, and maybe scrape together money for college.

More than 1,000 miles away in Detroit, Nya Marshall worries that a $15 minimum wage would drive up her labor costs and perhaps force her to close her 2-year-old restaurant, already under strain from the viral pandemic.

Biden says life may be back to normal by Christmas 2021
President Joe Biden would only commit to a return to normal by next Christmas during a CNN town hall on Tuesday, saying he did not want to boost Americans’ hopes when he could not be certain of a still-early vaccine rollout.

The prediction of nearly another year in pandemic-dampened conditions was admittedly not optimistic. But Biden still said it was as good as he could offer with any level of confidence.

Holiday COVID-19 surge to blame for rising MIS-C cases in some US cities
In recent weeks, hospitals in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Colorado, Nebraska and New Jersey have reported an increase in cases of MIS-C cases, a rare inflammatory condition found in children.

The apparent uptick in MIS-C cases coincides with a decrease in COVID-19 cases nationwide, in the wake of a post-holiday surge. But experts interviewed by ABC News explained that there is often a lag — sometimes three to four weeks — between COVID-19 infections and the onset of MIS-C symptoms.

New York sues Amazon over worker safety during COVID pandemic

New York is suing Amazon, claiming the company failed to provide workers with a safe environment at two warehouses in the state as COVID-19 infections surged nationwide.

The suit from New York Attorney General Letitia James landed just days after Amazon preemptively sued to block the suit over its coronavirus safety protocols and the firing of one of its employees who objected to working conditions.

Indoor, outdoor amusement parks and summer camps update in NY
Indoor amusement parks in New York state can reopen on March 26 with 25% capacity, while outdoor amusement parks can reopen April 9 with 33% capacity, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. Overnight summer camps in New York can plan on reopening as well. Cuomo said that doesn’t start until June, but with the current trajectory, “they can plan on reopening.” They will have to have a testing protocols.

Family says social media post used against them in battle over remote learning
A battle over remote learning has gotten personal in New Jersey after parents say a school official used photos from a private social media post of students without masks against them.

Top 7 COVID vaccine questions answered
You had questions about COVID-19 vaccines and 7 On Your Side is getting you answers from doctors on the front line of the pandemic.

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