Decreasing COVID-19 Fraction of US Deaths

Chart showing the percentage of US deaths due to COVID-19 during the pandemic

We’ve been in the COVID-19 pandemic for two years and a few months. I recently obtained the latest CDC COVID-19 death statistics and compared it to the total deaths each week of the pandemic.

The chart above shows the wave-like pulse of deaths caused by the disease. In the first wave of early 2020, at the peak 20% of all US deaths were due to the pandemic. The death rate then declined, but by the winter of 2020-21, over one quarter of all deaths were caused by COVID-19.

With vaccinations during 2021, the pandemic fraction of all deaths dropped to under 5%, until the Delta and Omicron waves raced through the country. The fraction of deaths due to COVID-19 soared to two peaks above 20% in early 2022.

Since then, the COVID-19 fraction of deaths has declined to 3%.

Is this a harbinger, as Dr. Fauci intimated, of the pandemic converting to a background disease that we can deal with as we do the yearly flu shot?

Or is this a lull before the next wave that sweeps mainly through the unvaccinated and persons with weakened immune systems?

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