Most US counties hit pandemic era death tolls higher than births

It’s been a century since a pandemic had numbers like this

Almost three-fourths of all U.S. counties reported more deaths than births last year, a development largely caused by the pandemic, which contributed to a dramatic slowing in the overall population growth of the nation, according to data released Thursday by the Census Bureau.

Low fertility rates, which have persisted since the end of the Great Recession, and the continuing demographic shift toward an older population also combined to create the smallest population increase in 100 years, said Kenneth Johnson, a sociology professor and demographer at the University of New Hampshire.

Johnson said he expected the data to show a natural decrease but was surprised at its scale. Natural decrease occurs when a population records more deaths than births. “I think one of the most important findings is the fact that almost 2,300 counties had more deaths than births in them. That’s unheard of in American history,” he said.

He said the impact of the coronavirus, along with other trends that limited population growth, had created a “perfect storm,” and that one would have to go back at least to the 1918 flu pandemic to find anything like it.

If the BA-2 Omicron Variant combines it’s dramatic increase in infections rates with a matching death rate, everyone whose been busy breathing a sign of relief – may just breathe their last!

Texas demonstrates when you cannot govern, you lie. A lot.

Bronte Wittpenn/Austin American

…Elect a president with no public-sector experience, no interest in learning, no desire to hire competent people and no ability to accept responsibility, and you get something like the covid-19 debacle. Moreover, if your party is hostile to government and exercising regulatory power because it is beholden to a donor class and right-wing ideologues, you will not be prepared for disasters when they strike.

…That brings us to Texas. The Washington Post reports, “As millions of people across Texas struggled to stay warm Tuesday amid massive cold-weather power outages, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) directed his ire at one particular failure in the state’s independent energy grid: frozen wind turbines.” There is one problem: That is not remotely true (as you might have guessed from a state with an enormous oil and gas sector). “The governor’s arguments were contradicted by his own energy department, which outlined how most of Texas’s energy losses came from failures to winterize the power-generating systems, including fossil fuel pipelines…”

In other words, rotten policy and management are to blame. “What has sent Texas reeling is not an engineering problem, nor is it the frozen wind turbines blamed by prominent Republicans,” The Post reports. “It is a financial structure for power generation that offers no incentives to power plant operators to prepare for winter. In the name of deregulation and free markets, critics say, Texas has created an electric grid that puts an emphasis on cheap prices over reliable service.”

RTFA. Not only a reliable source for facts, the Post has a history of researching the course of events to accurately determine cause and effect. More often than most.