Monday, 5 September 2022

Covidiot News - Massive Success for the Pro-Trump, Self-Genocide Campaign

Covid-19: U.S. Life Expectancy Continued to Decrease in 2021, Study Finds - USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

More evidence of the astonishingly stupid, but highly successful pro-Trump antivaxx campaign against the COVID-19 vaccinations was produced today in the form of evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic death rate in the USA produced a significant fall in life-expectancy in 2021, continuing a sharp fall in 2020. It also showed how there were persistent disparities in life expectancy by race and ethnicity.

The antivaxx campaign came about in support of the then president, Donald Trump, who, realising he was out of his depth with the science, but due to his narcissistic personality disorder, was incapable of admitting it, panicked and set about politicizing the pandemic, threatening and vilifying scientists who tried to advise him and pressurizing officials to supress bad news and provide disinformation.

He first declared the pandemic to be a hoax, then to be a mild illness that would be over by April (2020) and which could be prevented with wackadoodle, untested 'preventative' chloramphenicol. This subsequently turned out to not only be ineffective in preventing infection or minimising the symptoms but was positively dangerous.

At one point, in a comical pretence of medical expertise that would have been funny if it hadn’t been so seriously stupid, the fool even suggested drinking surface disinfectants or inserting a UV light source into the body to cure the disease. Soon, wearing face-covering and social distancing became political acts, as did getting vaccinated when the vaccines were produced. Evangelical preachers preached against face-masks and for the right to continue to hold super-spreader events in their churches, and Trump's election rallies in which face-coverings were discouraged, became serious super-spreader events in their own right.

Consequently, when the Omicron wave hit, the death toll became overwhelmingly of unvaccinated people in Republican-leading areas of America, to the extent that some commentators referred to it as a self-inflicted genocide of the most gullible, as the Republicans Party became possibly the first political party in history with policies seemingly designed to kill their own supporters and with supporters who believed that risking the lives of themselves, their families and society at large was the patriotic thing to do.

All to save the orange buffoon’s face.

Fig 2. Age-specific COVID-19 mortality rates by race/ethnicity, 2020 and 2021.
Data are from CDC WONDER (July 6, 2022, update). Mortality rates below age 5 are not shown because some counts are suppressed.


Fig 3. Ratio of age-specific COVID-19 mortality rates for the Black and Latino populations relative to the White population, 2020 and 2021.
Data are from CDC WONDER (July 6, 2022, update). Ratios below age 5 are not shown because some counts are suppressed.


Fig 4. Change in life expectancy at birth and at age 65 (years) relative to 2019 by race/ethnicity, 2020 and 2021.
Changes are all relative to 2019 life expectancy. Data are from CDC WONDER (July 6, 2022, update).

The pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theorists, backed by Russian troll farms, then launched a campaign against vaccinations, making increasingly lurid claims that the pandemic was caused by 5G telephone networks (even in parts of the world where there were no 5G networks, apparently), vaccines contained 'gay genes' which would turn people homosexual, they contained nanobots which would make them controllable by Bill Gates over the internet, that people were being experimented on against their will, and that the vaccines had not been properly tested, etc, etc.

The fruit loops were joined in this campaign by far-right white supremacist Christian nationalist groups and Christian evangelicals who all supported Trump, as the pandemic worsened and the death toll mounted, most of all in the evangelical groups who had listened to false prophets proclaiming that faith alone would save them, and the vaccines were part of a Satanic plot by 'the same paedophile Satanists who had stolen the election'. One far-right, Russian controlled source even claimed the vaccines would turn people into chimpanzees.

Even sections of the Catholic Church joined in with disinformation about the vaccine being made from aborted foetuses, although the Pope himself urged people to get vaccinated.

And besides, as the antivaxx disinformation machine was claiming, COVID-19 could be easily cured with ivermectin, an anthelmintic horse deworming drug, with no known efficacy against COVID-19!

Another self-appointed "Prophet of God", Scott McKay, preached that those antivaxxers such as Kirsten Weldon, Doug Kuzma and Veronica Wolski who all died of COVID-19, along with a whole string of antivaxxers, QAnon conspiracists and Evangelical preachers, were actually killed by the doctors and nurses to shut them up, and began advocating taking up arms in 'World War IV" [sic] against the medical profession (because, in parochial little evangelical America, a world war would be an internal American affair, obviously).

The result of those campaigns was entirely predictable - it led to vaccine hesitancy especially in Donald Trump's supporters, the Republican Party and far right evangelical Christians, with a disproportionate death rate so large it resembled a self-inflicted genocide of the most gullible and impressionable section of American society.

As I said back in January 2022:
These are dangerously deluded people who lack the emotional maturity and self-control to accept that they are wrong. Meanwhile the COVID-19 death toll mounts as more and more gullible Americans are sacrificed on the altar of these idiot's precious egos. And as usual with these messages of hate, skulking in the background, pretending to be moral, is fundamentalist religion, providing excuses to people who need excuses.
These conspiracy theories also played on the natural tendency of America's racial and ethnic minorities to view government and authorities with suspicion and led to vaccine hesitancy amongst black, Latino and Asian Americans - some of whom are particularly susceptible to the virus and so need the vaccines most.

The result of this frenetic and irresponsible attempt to save Donald Trump's orange face, was as revealed in a paper published recently in PLOS ONE, by Theresa Andrasfay of the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, California, USA and Noreen Goldman of the Office of Population Research, School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.

According to the press release by USC:
[The updated analysis] indicates that U.S. life expectancy at birth decreased by 2.2 years from 78.8 in 2019 to 76.6 in 2021. The estimated decrease in life expectancy for 2021 is 0.6 years larger than the decrease observed in 2020, Andrasfay said.

Despite the availability of effective vaccines, life expectancy continued to decline in 2021. Part of this is due to the large number of COVID-19 deaths that occurred in the beginning of 2021, before many individuals were eligible for vaccination, but even once all adults became eligible for vaccination, many chose not to be vaccinated and even vaccinated individuals were not completely protected against the highly transmissible Delta and Omicron variants.

We did not have access to the same level of detailed data as the CDC, so we arrived at slightly different life expectancy estimates. Despite these differences, our results are largely in agreement in that we find continued life expectancy reductions in 2021 and persistent racial and ethnic disparities.

COVID-19 mortality has been lower in the first half of 2022 compared to 2021, so if there is a successful booster campaign in the fall and the dominant strains have lower fatality rates than previous variants, it is possible that 2022 life expectancy may improve relative to 2021, though it is unlikely to return to levels seen prior to 2020. However, what happens with 2022 life expectancy will ultimately depend on this coming fall and winter.

Theresa Andrasfay, co-author
Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California, USA
The study highlighted that significant racial disparities in loss of lifespan have endured throughout the pandemic. Between 2019 and 2021, non-Latino whites lost 2 years on average, while non-Latino Blacks lost 3.5 years and Latinos lost 3.7 years of life expectancy. As noted in Andrasfay and Goldman’s previous analyses, Black and Latino Americans have experienced a disproportionate burden of coronavirus infections and deaths, reflecting persistent structural inequalities that heighten risk of exposure to and death from COVID-19.

[A]lthough Whites experienced a larger drop in life expectancy between 2020 and 2021 than the Black and Latino populations, resulting in a very modest reduction in racial and ethnic differences, the disparities in life expectancy loss since the start of the pandemic remain regrettably and unacceptably large.

Noreen Goldman, co-author
Office of Population Research
School of Public and International Affairs
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Although COVID-19 is the primary cause of continued life expectancy reductions in 2021, “increases in other causes of death relative to pre-pandemic levels contribute to these life expectancy declines,” the authors wrote. The pandemic appears to have played a role in the increase of drug overdose deaths in 2020 and 2021, and increased mortality from conditions such as heart disease or diabetes may be attributable to complications of Covid-19 infections and/or health care shortages and delays.

This week the CDC also released provisional estimates of life expectancy in 2021.
Copyright: © 2022 The authors.
Published by PLOS. Open access. (CC BY 4.0)
The researcher's study is published open access in PLOS ONE:
Abstract

COVID-19 had a huge mortality impact in the US in 2020 and accounted for most of the overall reduction in 2020 life expectancy at birth. There were also extensive racial/ethnic disparities in the mortality impact of COVID-19 in 2020, with the Black and Latino populations experiencing reductions in life expectancy at birth over twice as large as that of the White population. Despite continued vulnerability of these populations, the hope was that widespread distribution of effective vaccines would mitigate the overall mortality impact and reduce racial/ethnic disparities in 2021. In this study, we quantify the mortality impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on 2021 US period life expectancy by race and ethnicity and compare these impacts to those estimated for 2020. Our estimates indicate that racial/ethnic disparities have persisted, and that the US population experienced a decline in life expectancy at birth in 2021 of 2.2 years from 2019, 0.6 years more than estimated for 2020. The corresponding reductions estimated for the Black and Latino populations are slightly below twice that for Whites, suggesting smaller disparities than those in 2020. However, all groups experienced additional reductions in life expectancy at birth relative to 2020, and this apparent narrowing of disparities is primarily the result of Whites experiencing proportionately greater increases in mortality in 2021 compared with the corresponding increases in mortality for the Black and Latino populations in 2021. Estimated declines in life expectancy at age 65 increased slightly for Whites between 2020 and 2021 but decreased for both the Black and Latino populations, resulting in the same overall reduction (0.8 years) estimated for 2020 and 2021.

Andrasfay T, Goldman N (2022)
Reductions in US life expectancy during the COVID-19 pandemic by race and ethnicity: Is 2021 a repetition of 2020?
PLoS ONE 17
(8): e0272973. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0272973

Copyright: © 2022 The authors.
Published by PLOS. Open access.
Reprinted under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0)
As the authors point out, almost the same result was seen in their analysis of a more detailed data set, published by the CDC, in a paper entitled, "Provisional Life Expectancy Estimates for 2021"[PDF]. According to the press release announcing that report, the CDC, National Center for Health Statistics says:
Life expectancy at birth in the United States declined nearly a year from 2020 to 2021, according to new provisional data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). That decline – 77.0 to 76.1 years – took U.S. life expectancy at birth to its lowest level since 1996. The 0.9 year drop in life expectancy in 2021, along with a 1.8 year drop in 2020, was the biggest two-year decline in life expectancy since 1921-1923.

The data are featured in a new report, “Provisional Life Expectancy Estimates for 2021.” The report shows non-Hispanic American Indian-Alaskan Native people (AIAN) had the biggest drop in life expectancy in 2021 – 1.9 years. AIAN people had a life expectancy at birth of 65.2 years in 2021 – equal to the life expectancy of the total U.S. population in 1944. AIAN life expectancy has declined 6.6 years from 2019 to 2021.

Non-Hispanic white people in the United States had the second biggest decline in life expectancy in 2021 – one full year from 77.4 in 2020 to 76.4 in 2021. Non-Hispanic Black people had the third biggest decline, a 0.7 year drop from 71.5 years in 2020 to 70.8 in 2021. Life expectancy at birth in 2021 was the lowest for both groups since 1995. After a large (4.0 year) drop in life expectancy from 2019 to 2020, Hispanic people in the U.S. had a slight decline in 2021 of 0.2 years to 77.6 years. Life expectancy for non-Hispanic Asian people also dropped slightly in 2021 – 0.1 years – to 83.5 years, the highest life expectancy of any race/ethnic group included in this analysis.

Other findings documented in the report:

  • Life expectancy at birth for women in the United States dropped 0.8 years from 79.9 years in 2020 to 79.1 in 2021, while life expectancy for men dropped one full year, from 74.2 years in 2020 to 73.2 in 2021. The report shows the disparity in life expectancy between men and women grew in 2021 from 5.7 years in 2020 to 5.9 years in 2021. From 2000 to 2010, this disparity had narrowed to 4.8 years, but gradually increased from 2010 to 2019 and is now the largest gap since 1996.
  • The declines in life expectancy since 2019 are largely driven by the pandemic. COVID-19 deaths contributed to nearly three-fourths or 74% of the decline from 2019 to 2020 and 50% of the decline from 2020 to 2021. An estimated 16% of the decline in life expectancy from 2020 to 2021 can be attributed to increases in deaths from accidents/unintentional injuries. Drug overdose deaths account for nearly half of all unintentional injury deaths. The most recent data reported by NCHS showed more than 109,000 overdose deaths in the one-year period ending in March of 2022.
  • Other causes of death contributing to the decline in life expectancy from 2020 to 2021 include heart disease (4.1% of the decline), chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (3.0%), and suicide (2.1%). For men, the one-year decline in life expectancy was attributed primarily to mortality from COVID-19 (49.5% of the decline), unintentional injuries (19.1%), suicide (3.6%), chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (3.4%), and homicide (2.5%). For women, the 0.8 year decline in life expectancy was attributed mainly to mortality from COVID-19 (51.2% of the decline), unintentional injuries (14.8%), heart disease (5.7%), stroke (3.5%), and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (2.4%).
I wonder how many unswerving supporters of Donald Trump will accept responsibility for what they did in his name and with his encouragement, and apologise to the families of their victims and to those left suffering the effects of long COVID, having been gullible enough to have fallen for their irresponsible campaign of lies and disinformation or that there will be mass exodus from the Repugnican Party and the white evangelical Christian churches, once they realise the damage they have done to America.

I wouldn't hold your breath if I were you.
Reference:
Arias E, Tejada-Vera B, Kochanek KD, Ahmad FB.
Provisional life expectancy estimates for 2021. Vital Statistics Rapid Release; no 23. Hyattsville, MD:
National Center for Health Statistics. August 2022. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:118999

Thank you for sharing!









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2 comments :

  1. I get your overall point here, but if the drop in life expectancy is being driven mostly by rejection of vaccines, it's odd that the drop is so much larger among non-white groups. Most Trumpanzees are white, so you'd expect that most people who rejected the vaccines and left themselves more vulnerable to covid would be white.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. However, non-whites for reasons which aren't fully understood, are more susceptible to the vurus and tend to have a higher mortaility rate from it. This isn't helped by the antivaxx propaganda playing to their cultural distrust of authority to produce vaccine hesitancy.

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